Trends drive journalism. Unlike the fads documented by tabloid gossip columnists, the trends environmental journalists take note of aren’t cotton-candy, YouTube inspired pop culture phenomenon. No, typically these topics impacting Planet Earth are important.
Increasingly it’s becoming trendy to talk sustainability. The importance of the topic is matched by the need to get the story right when reporting on it.
Journalists can’t accurately report on sustainability of the world’s tuna stocks without researching the science. Generalizing the status of tuna stocks leads to confusion and misguided assumptions. Relying on those misguided assumptions in reporting doesn’t help sustainability, it only hurts the cause.
Recently, ISSF released its updated status of the stocks which included the red-listing of Eastern Pacific Ocean bigeye (you can be sure the report these stock assessments are based on will be made public soon, we’ll post the information on this site). Red-listing EPO bigeye is a major step for our partnership among science, the tuna industry and the community of environmental non-governmental organizations. A major step because it’s not just a color-coded ranking – it’s a scientific assessment backed up by a commitment to do something about the critical need for conservation. Most people approach conservation with passion and emotion. Both are needed to bring change. But unless that passion is based on sound science, we risk getting it wrong.
It’s obvious environmental journalists want to get it right. In their dedication to seek the truth they should embrace voices like ours. Journalists live by the ideal that dialogue can’t take place when only one voice gets the platform to speak. Here’s to hoping journalists turn to ISSF as a source when reporting on sustainability of the world’s tuna stocks. We’re a resource they can rely on to speak with the authority science affords.
Manager, Media Relations