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Spanish technology company Satlink receives the ‘Tuna Award 2023’ for Project ReCon

14 September 2023
  • la-tecnologica-satlink-recibe-el-galardon-tuna-awards-2023-por-su-proyecto-recon-995295c0 Spanish technology company Satlink receives  the ‘Tuna Award 2023’ for Project ReCon

Organized by Anfaco-Cecopesca and the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Tuna Awards recognize innovation in the international tuna industry.

Satlink launched its circular economy Project ReCon in December 2022 to recover echosounder buoys used in tropical tuna fishing and recondition them for scientific and environmental purposes.

Spanish technology company Satlink received the prestigious Tuna Awards 2023 last night in the ‘Blue Transition’ category for Project ReCon, a circular economy initiative to repurpose end-of-life fishing buoys. The award ceremony took place in Vigo, presided over by the Spanish Fisheries Management Director, Ignacio Gandarias, and the Conselleiro do Mar, Alfonso Villares.

Project ReCon, described as "pioneer and unique in its field" by Iván Alonso, President of Anfaco and the award presenter, has become one of the world's most significant initiatives, paving the way for the future of fisheries sustainability. It recovers end-of-life echosounder buoys used by the tropical tuna purse seine fishing fleet, and reconditions them for scientific and environmental purposes, such as marine debris tracking, scientific studies, or natural disaster prevention, among others. Since its launch in December 2022, over 4 tons of ghost nets have been collected with ReCon buoys.

After its initial steps in Australia with Tangaroa Blue Foundation and the Australian Marine Debris Initiative, two major environmental organizations have recently joined ReCon: The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and The Pacific Community (SPC). As of today, the project has extended its reach to a total of eight countries.

A cornerstone of Project ReCon is its industry-wide support and involvement. Currently, more than 80 vessels from companies and organizations such as Albacora, Echebastar, Inpesca, OPAGAC/AGAC, Sapmer, Bolton Food Group, Cape Fisheries, Caroline Fisheries Corporation, Trimarine, Oakcity Tuna Fishing Corporation, Hartswater, and the entire US Pacific Tuna Group, among many others, are participating in the project.

Hence, the jury, consisting of experts from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food, the University of Vigo, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), and the ICSEM, selected it as the winner in a category with strong finalists, such as Atunlo and Bermeo Tuna World Capital. Marine Instruments was the other winner of the night in the Revolution 4.0 category.

Satlink approaches these projects as part of its strategy to ensure the comprehensive sustainability of fishing activities. In fact, it is worth noting that the United Nations (UN) Global Compact recognized Satlink’s technology in 2022 for its contribution to ocean and marine life conservation, awarding it the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 prize. This recognition was followed in 2023 by the European Union Technology Chamber's award.