The Tuna Tales Project is a documentary series which unites the stories of one-by-one fishing communities around the world. It gives an insight into the beautiful lives and harsh challenges of one-by-one tuna fishing communities around the world who offer an alternative future – a future in balance with nature.

The Tuna Tales films explore the importance of one-by-one tuna fishing in communities from the Azores, the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Maldives and Indonesia and tells the stories of the people living here. IPNLF partnered with award-winning National Geographic photographer, Pepe Brix, with the help of highly acclaimed documentary videographer, Rui Pedro Lamy, to develop the series which documents the beauty and challenges of live for these communities.

One-by-one tuna fishing forms the foundation of many fishing communities around the world but they face an increasing struggle for survival in an ocean under stress and an industry very much centred around the needs of industrial fisheries, rather than small-scale, local, community driven fisheries.

It’s important that we tell the stories from these regions to raise awareness and drive change among consumers to consider the lives behind their purchases.

Watch our Tuna Tales | In Balance documentary video here

Tuna Tales | In Balance With Nature is the final part in a documentary series for the Tuna Tales Project. This film unites the stories of one-by-one fishing communities around the world. It highlights the deep relationships between these communities and the ocean, as the source of their livelihoods. Fishers in these regions understand the rhythms of the ocean and the imbalance caused by industrial overfishing with unsustainable methods. Instead, they present an alternative, more sustainable future. A future in balance with nature.

Dive deeper into the lives of one-by-one fishing communities with our other Tuna Tales Episodes:

1 | The Azores, On Land.

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2 | The Azores, Our Ocean

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3 | Canary Islands, Our Voice

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4 | Cape Verde, Our Lives

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5 | Indonesia, An Archipelago of Opportunities

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6 | Maldives, Leading by Example

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Catch Tuna Tales on the Big Screen

The Tuna Tales films have been shown at a number of events. The first 3 episodes were shown at the 2021 CCRUP General Assembly in the Azores and Tuna Tales | In Balance was featured at Sciaena’s film festival, Scianema, and was an official selection at the Blue Water Film Festival 2022 where it was a competitive entry.

We are excited to share these stories at more film festivals around the world and if you would like to feature the film, contact us at tunatales@ipnlf.org.

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“I grew up surrounded by fishers and Tuna Tales gave me the opportunity to, somehow, be part of a change that I know has to come. I dove deep into the problems around the fishing industry and listened to the voices of those who feel it directly. When listening to their stories you are left with no doubt that fishing is crucial for their survival. For example, in Cape Verde they need to take more and more risks as they are forced  to go far out at sea to catch half of what they used to catch close to the shore. Tuna Tales has been more than a photographic or videographic project, it has been a very strong introspective journey for Lamy and I, and we keep, printed on our hearts, each word spoken from these men and women.”
– Pepe Brix, Tuna Tales Videographer

“When we have our jobs, we have our salaries, and we have our freedom. We don’t depend on anyone… Since I started working here my life has changed a lot. I have a house and a daughter in University. All because of this salary.”

– Susana Sousa, Cannery Worker, Santa Catarina Factory, Azores

“Pole and line fishing was first recorded in the Maldives over 900 years ago, and whilst its a really traditional methods of fishing, the Maldivians have been leading lights in demonstrating how those age old methods can become relevant in the modern world”

– Iain Mahood – Commercial Director, World Wise Foods

“On the one hand we have the word sustainability which makes us think about conservation, protection. And on the other hand we have fishing, sustainable fisheries. Well, fishing is extraction, it’s exploitation. And it seems that those two things don’t always align. Therefore sustainability is made up of these power plays” 

– Luis Rodrigues – Regional Director of Azores Fisheries (2016-2020)

“And what’s behind all that effort? There is a family. Most of the time there is a family, people that have no other resources. People that are waiting for the father, their uncle, their grandfather to come back from the sea and bring, inside that boat, our livelihoods for the week, for the month, to provide for the school books, the school clothes… the livelihood for the family.”

– Tommy Melo, Biosferra Association President, Cape Verde

“Because in the future this will be a great source of hope for the community. After we educate the community they will receive more benefits from this traditional way of fishing. To all out there in the world let’s give our fishermen a decent price so that they are not tempted to turn to other ways of fishing and the types of fishing gear that damage the environment.”

– Max Jones Lomban – Mayor, Biting City

“About 30 years ago we saw that the path we were following wasn’t going anywhere; we were talking about bread for today, hunger for tomorrow. We were talking about depleting our resources.”

– Fernando Guiterres, Presidente de la cofradia de pescaores de la isla del Hierro

““I have my family but if I can’t provide for them in future then who is going to look after them? Who is going to care for them? No one.”

– Alfredo Durão, Captain, Cape Verde