May 2 was recognized as the first-ever World Tuna Day, thanks to a resolution approved by the United Nations’ General Assembly in 2016. The designated day aims to raise awareness of tuna populations worldwide and address threats to the highly migratory species.
More than 80 countries have tuna fisheries and thousands of tuna vessels operating in the Indian and Pacific oceans, according to the U.N. resolution.
“Many countries depend heavily on tuna resources for food security and nutrition, economic development, employment, government revenue, livelihoods, culture and recreation,” the U.N. resolution stated.
Achieving sustainably managed stocks is a substantive goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the U.N. resolution added.
The resolution was approved during the U.N.’s 55th plenary meeting on Dec. 7, 2016.
U.N. members and organizations, non-member groups and society at large, were asked to observe World Tuna Day “in order to raise awareness of the value of tuna, the threats facing tuna populations and the economic and social benefits of sustainably managed tuna stocks, and to share best practices.”
The World Tuna Day resolution also called for the U.N. Secretary-General “to bring the present resolution to the attention of all member states, the organizations of the United Nations system and civil society organizations for appropriate observance.”