Contact: Mike Crispino,
September 25, 2009 Washington, DC – The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) is following through on a commitment to develop common best practices and facilitate global research to mitigate the impact of capturing non-target marine life, bycatch, in purse-seine tuna fisheries on fish aggregating devices (FADs).
“If we are going to understand the effect that bycatch and discards have on the ecosystem, then we must collect and analyze comprehensive data on the numbers and kinds of tunas that are discarded and the non-tuna species taken as bycatch,” ISSF President Susan Jackson told attendees of the IV Worldwide Conference of Tuna in Vigo, Spain last week.
ISSF’s Steering Group has invited global fisheries scientists and experts on tuna fishing to a 4 day workshop in Sukarrieta, Spain this November. Attendees will review what is currently known about bycatch and research programs to reduce it, such as the development of new fishing gear and methods. Together they’ll identify the most promising projects underway and set priorities for further research.
“Beyond the workshop, we will work to develop and implement a strategy for raising funds and marshaling support among the nations, industry members, and environmental NGOs for field research,” Jackson said. “We envision a dedicated research vessel to conduct experiments on gear and fishing technique.”
For more on the work already being done to eliminate the impact of bycatch on global tuna fisheries and for an outline of the existing problem, click here.
The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation is a global partnership among scientists, the tuna industry and WWF, the global conservation organization. Its mission is to undertake science-based initiatives for the long-term conservation and sustainable use of tuna stocks, reducing bycatch and promoting ecosystem health.