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#News • 8 March 2022

Balfegó, the first company to receive AENOR, the bluefin tuna sustainability certificate

The first step to acting sustainably and in a way that respects the environment and others is to be consistent with your own values. It’s something that either matters to you or not; it can’t be partial. 

We must take action because when we talk about sustainability, we have to show it. When you’re passionate about something, you do everything you can to protect it and keep it alive. 

The second step of being sustainable is showing it: with your team, with others, with each choice you make and each thing you do. And that’s exactly what we do at Balfegó. Our commitment to sustainability goes beyond the basics; we don’t just feel it, we are committed to doing it correctly. We want to be the example that inspires others to take on this commitment as well. To achieve this, we are dedicated to good practices and AENOR’s environmental sustainability certificate is an example of that. 

AENOR’s environmental sustainability certificate confirms our commitment to the environment

 

Balfegó is the only bluefin tuna farming company with AENOR’s environmental sustainability certificate. This certificate confirms our commitment to the environment, minimizing the impact and favoring better resource management. It also verifies that an organization, product, process, or service meets the required technical regulations or specifications.

With this AENOR certification, we can guarantee the integral control of the different activity phases, such as catching, feeding, marketing, and the environmental monitoring of Bafelgó’s activities. 

From the beginning, we’ve been committed to sustainability and respecting the environment. All of this effort has led us to receive AENOR’s environmental sustainability certificate, a recognized certification entity that operates in 90 countries. In addition, through our Department of Research and Sustainability, we spearhead diverse research, development, and innovation projects about fishing, the species, and the quality of our products with universities and scientific institutions. 

Being the only company in our field with this certification is an honor and differentiates us from other companies. In fact, we also received the Sustainability Award given by the chef’s association FACYRE that recognizes the work of people and organizations in Spanish gastronomy, linked to the sector or not.

Other measures to ensure sustainability in the fishing and marketing of Mediterranean bluefin tuna

 

Today, we can say that Mediterranean bluefin tuna is a recovered species, thanks to restrictive fishing measures applied by ICCAT in 2007. At Balfegó, we’ve gone further than these requirements and have applied other measures that help guarantee the future of this species and help make us a sustainable company: 

1.We have targeted monospecies and adult fisheries

 

We fish with the purse seine technique because it allows us to target one species and even release fish that don’t reach the minimum permitted weight of 30kg. Our fishery targets adult tuna with an average age of ten years and that reach sexual maturity at four, allowing a minimum of six years of reproduction. This guarantees the reproduction of the species in its natural habitat.

 

2. Our fishing is regulated by ICCAT

 

Bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) fishing is the most studied, controlled, and regulated fishing in the world under any scientific standard. As we mentioned before, ICCAT (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna) is the regional fishing organization of the UN and FAO that manages this fishing and has managed to recover the bluefin tuna population of the Mediterranean with a rescue plan based on strict fishing measures. Their management policies are based on periodic reports about the state of fishing released by the Scientific Committee (SCRS).

We even have international and independent ICCAT observers present at the time of catch during fishing season and every day at our aquaculture facilities.

3. We support projects together with prestigious scientific institutions

 

We work with ICCAT, the Spanish Government, and organizations such as the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO), the Institute for Research and Technology (IRTA), and the University of Cadiz, among others, with the goal of improving our knowledge of bluefin tuna as a species and implementing projects and actions to improve its sustainability.

4. We guarantee the product tracking beyond regulations

 

Regulations require us to have an electronic document of the bluefin tuna capture (eBDC) that allows us to track it from beginning to end. Our system goes even further and is an example of the transparency of our process, giving both chefs and diners the opportunity to consult all the information they want, piece by piece. 

Each of the pieces is individually identified and has a tracking code that displays the origin and fishing date of the product, as well as its fat infiltration percentage and quality, microbiological, and environmental sustainability certificates. Diners can access this information through a QR code that accompanies each plate featuring Balfegó bluefin tuna.


This tracking system developed by our Research and Sustainability Department together with ICCAT is a first in the fishing world and goes beyond European regulations. It guarantees the security and legality of the product not just at the time of fishing, but throughout the entire supply chain in an efficient and easy to control manner.

5. Our fleet is committed to sustainability 

Our fleet is one of Spain’s most eco efficient fleets when we consider its CO2 emission for each captured fish. In addition, we register our boats and ports, given that bluefin tuna can only be captured by licensed boats and unloaded in authorized ports.

 

All these measures, together with the AENOR sustainability certificate, endorse our efforts to be increasingly sustainable. At Balfegó we have taken a key step to be the change we want to see; we promote good practices that ensure comprehensive sustainability throughout the process from the sea to the table.

At Balfegó, we work to promote a more sustainable and respectful world because the decisions that we make as professionals or consumers have an impact and the change that we are looking for begins with us. 

We are not only the best bluefin tuna company in the world; we aim to be the best bluefin tuna company for the world. 

 

 

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