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RESOLUTION 12-02: Capacity Reduction


May 22, 2012 Bangkok, Thailand


Resolution by ISSF to Limit the Growth in Fishing Capacity of the Global Large-Scale Tropical Tuna Purse Seine Fleet

Recalling that the tuna Regional Fishery Management Organizations (RFMOs) are responsible for ensuring, through effective management, the long-term conservation and sustainable use of highly migratory fish stocks in the world’s oceans;

Noting that the objective of ISSF is to facilitate, in support of the RFMOs’ mandates, the effective conservation and management of tuna resources and the ecosystem to which they belong;

Recalling that the 1999 FAO International Plan of Action for the Management of Fishing Capacity notes that excessive fishing capacity contributes substantially to overfishing, the degradation of marine fisheries resources, the decline of food production potential, and significant economic waste;

Recallingthe 2011 ISSF Statement of Concern Regarding Excess Fishing Capacity and Capacity Limitations;

Noting that purse seine vessels take over sixty percent of the world’s tuna catch;

Concerned that, despite the general consensus among scientists, RFMOs, and many governments that excess fishing capacity exists in most of the tuna purse-seine fisheries, the fishing capacity of these fleets continues to grow;

Recognizing the importance of the 2011 recommendation by the Third Joint Meeting of Tuna RFMOs that developed nations freeze large-scale purse seine capacity under their flag, and to consider capacity reductions and capacity transfers in ways that recognize the rights for increased participation by developing coastal states;

Recalling the 2010 Bellagio Framework for Sustainable Tuna Fisheries conclusion that, in a fully exploited fishery, coastal states’ rights to expand their participation in a tuna fishery must be accommodated by mechanisms for reducing the participation of others;

Determined to assist these international efforts to manage fishing capacity by the tropical tuna purse seine fleets;

The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation resolves to:

1. Adopt the conservation measure that processors, traders, importers, transporters and others involved in the seafood industry beginning January 1, 2013, refrain from transactions in skipjack, bigeye and yellowfin tuna caught by large scale[1] purse seine vessels that are not actively fishing for tuna December 31, 2012, except under the provisions in paragraph 4, below.

2. For the purpose of supporting the above conservation measure, ISSF will establish a Record of large-scale purse seine vessels fishing for tropical tunas globally. The Record, to be made publicly available, will draw upon the information available in the tuna RFMO vessel registers, as well as information provided by the fishing industry. Click here to access the record

3. Only purse seine vessels with all of the information listed in Appendix 1 will be entered in the Record. Vessel information will be subject to verification by government agencies, RFMO secretariats, and other relevant agencies.

4. ISSF will update its Record of large-scale purse seine vessels to accommodate the following circumstances:

a. The addition of a large-scale purse seine vessel that was actively fishing for tuna on or before December 31, 2012 but that was not included in the Record initially.

b.  The addition of a large-scale purse seine vessel that was under contract for construction on or before December 31, 2012 with construction completed by June 30, 2015.

c. A change in the name, flag, or registration number of a vessel already on the Record.

d. The addition of a new large-scale purse seine vessel that is built as a replacement for a vessel already on the Record that has sunk, has been scrapped or otherwise permanently transferred out of the tropical tuna fishery. The addition of the new vessel will only be permitted if its fish hold volume is less than or equal to that of the older vessel. The request for the addition of a new vessel must either come from the owner of the older vessel, or from a new owner designated by the owner of the older vessel.

5. Vessels on the Record that are refurbished in such a way that their fish hold volume increases will be removed from the Record.

6. In order to resolve any disputes that may arise with the implementation of paragraphs 2 to 5 above, ISSF will set up an independent Dispute Settlement Advisory Body composed of experts in relevant legislation.

7. Considering that increased participation by coastal states in the large-scale purse seine tuna fisheries can be accommodated through commensurate reductions by the other participants, ISSF will continue to sponsor regional and global workshops on fleet capacity management, including mechanisms for capacity transfers.

Appendix 1. Information required for the ISSF Record of Large-Scale Purse Seine Vessels

1. Name

2. Flag

3. IMO number

4. RFMO vessel record number(s)

5. National Registration Number

6. Length overall (m)

7. Fish carrying capacity (metric tons)

8. Fish hold volume (m3)

9. Year and month built

10. Shipyard

11. If applicable: Previous name(s) and flag(s); date(s) changed.


[1] For the purpose of this resolution, large-scale purse seine vessels are those with at least 335 m3 fish hold volume. This corresponds approximately to 273 metric tons (301 short tons) of fish carrying capacity.


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