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More Transparent than Ever

October 7, 2015 2014.05 WCPO FabienForget 585

When the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation’s (ISSF) Participating Companies agreed to follow the Foundation’s list of Conservation Measures, they knew that independent compliance auditing would be necessary to independently assess conformance and also to track performance over time. With the level of detail in this year’s audit, it has become even more obvious that the independent audit is an indispensable part of the process. Not only does it keep things in check, it has proven to be the most effective way to track detailed progress and reveal gaps that need additional work. During MRAG Americas’ recent audit of the Participating Companies to assess conformance with the 2014 conservation measures and commitments, we took things further than in year’s past. We shared our preliminary findings with all of the individual companies and a dialogue period allowed all parties to discuss the information submitted and to provide additional information to assist us in reaching accurate and well-supported conclusions. The final audit results were based, then, on a more thorough review of all relevant information, resulting in the most clarity in ISSF auditing results MRAG Americas has ever been able to report, as well as the ability for ISSF to track continuous improvement. Not only does this serve the primary audit and compliance purposes, but perhaps more importantly, it gives a clear picture of where everyone is, and helps chart a course for where they need to be.

Fewer Boats, More Fish

September 30, 2015 Blog photo for Dale Squires blog Sept 2015

Fishing capacity is the amount of fish or fishing effort that can be produced over a period of time (i.e. one year or a full fishing season) by a vessel or a fleet if fully utilized. Proper capacity management seems like a simple enough concept: have fewer boats on the water so that pressure on tuna stocks relents to a more ideal level. If you could only explain it in one sentence, that might just be the best way to do it; however, like all issues associated to managing fisheries, we don’t have the luxury of simplicity, which is why I’m glad I have the opportunity to say more than a sentence about how we, as conservationists and scientists, can continue to move the needle to limit fishing capacity across all tuna fisheries to more sustainable planes.

Déjà vu or Progress in the Western and Central Pacific?

September 23, 2015 2014.05 WCPO FabienForget 619

It is Technical and Compliance Committee (TCC) time again in the western and central Pacific Ocean with the 11th TCC meeting scheduled from 23-29 September in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. While some members have made great progress through stakeholder collaboration throughout the intersessional period, given the ongoing and pending issues again on the agenda, one wonders if we are attending TCC 10 or TCC 11? There is certainly a sense of déjà vu as we prepare for this meeting.

IATTC Makes Little Progress

July 15, 2015 2014.05 WCPO FabienForget 587

Although several delegations put forth progressive proposals on these issues, the meeting ended with the adoption of only a handful of measures – and some were even a step backward.

Preparándonos para Guayaquil: Prioridades para la reunión anual de la CIAT de este año

June 17, 2015 MUIR_IMG_0156

Delegados de todo el mundo se darán cita la semana próxima en Guayaquil (Ecuador) para la reunión anual de la Comisión Interamericana del Atún Tropical (CIAT). Este órgano directivo es responsable de la gestión de los recursos atuneros del océano Pacífico oriental (EPO) y es el más antiguo del mundo. Las prácticas óptimas, tales como el logro de una cobertura íntegra por parte de observadores en ciertos buques cerqueros y una completa recogida de datos, han sido la norma aquí durante bastante tiempo, lo cual ha hecho de la CIAT un líder en ciertas áreas. Aun así, como es el caso de todas la OROP del atún, las naciones pesqueras deben seguir mejorando y fortaleciendo sus esfuerzos para gestionar los recursos vitales de su región con el fin de mantenerse al día en relación con normativas internacionales en evolución y con las expectativas de mercado.

Getting Ready For Guayaquil

June 15, 2015 MUIR_IMG_0156

Next week, delegates from around the world will gather in Guayaquil, Ecuador for the annual the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) Commission Meeting. This management body is responsible for managing tuna resources in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO), and it’s the world’s oldest. Best practices like 100% observer coverage on certain purse seine vessels and comprehensive data collection have been the norm here for some time, and that makes the IATTC a leader in certain areas. However, as is the case for all tuna RFMOs, fishing nations must continue to improve and strengthen their efforts to manage their region’s vital resources to keep pace with evolving international standards and market expectations.

IOTC 19 Outcomes: Progress on Management and MCS Tools

May 7, 2015 Itano_ITAN0_IMG_2489

Constructive engagement from all parties at the 2015 IOTC session resulted in moderate improvement on some fronts, including data provision and target and limit reference points. But there is more work to be done


April 30, 2015 2012.05-06 WCPO DavidItano 280

Every year in recognition of World Tuna Day, our Foundation sets aside some time to reflect on the wins of the year behind us and what will be our focus in the year to come.

Managing Fisheries for the Future

April 21, 2015 IMG_1388

This year’s IOTC meeting, held 27 April-1 May 2015 in Busan, Korea, has the potential to be a concrete win for sustainable tuna and a turning point for tuna management in the Indian Ocean.

Priorities for Indian Ocean Fisheries


Indian Ocean fishing nations are getting ready to meet for the 19th session of the Commission this April in Busan, Korea, and our coalition has a list of things we would like to see member nations accomplish.

Driving Change on the Front Lines of Indonesia’s Tuna Fisheries


Situated at the intersection of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Indonesia is a growing player in the global seafood marketplace. Understanding the catch and associated effort from Indonesian tuna fishing vessels and identifying and implementing effective management practices is therefore critical for ensuring sustainable tuna resources in both the Indian and Pacific oceans.


January 26, 2015 A drifting FAD in the Pacific Ocean.

As the gap on FAD data begins to close, the bottom line remains – no gear or method is perfect, and comprehensive management is the goal

Around the World in a Year

January 12, 2015 accra workshop

2014 marked another productive round of ISSF by-catch mitigation workshops held with fishers from the principal tuna purse seine fleets of the world.

2014 Year in Review and New Year’s Resolutions

December 12, 2014 Behavior in net

Hits And Misses On The Journey Toward More Sustainable Tuna

BRAVO! ICCAT Quickens the Pace and Shifts in the Right Direction on VMS and FADs

November 26, 2014 Tuna in the Pacific.

The 19th Special Meeting of ICCAT took some important steps last week to move the needle forward in several critical management areas to assure the future sustainability of tuna in the region.

ISSF and WWF to WCPFC: Act Now to End Bigeye Overfishing

November 21, 2014 A school of tuna in a fishing net.

If WCPFC can’t get bigeye right, is the rest of the fishery at risk?


November 14, 2014 Cover Option

Coastal States and fishing nations will meet this December for the 11th Regular Session of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). As always, there is a great deal at stake and our coalition has a list of things we would like to see member nations accomplish.

Observers and Vessel Monitoring Systems – Essential Programs for Successful Tuna Fisheries Management

November 7, 2014 Tuna in the Pacific.

As the Commission’s annual meeting in Genoa, Italy commences, our organizations – Monterey Bay Aquarium, WWF and ISSF – join together in urging ICCAT to adopt amendments to strengthen its VMS provisions as well as to join other tuna RFMOs and require 100 percent observer coverage for purse seine vessels.

Priorities for Atlantic & Mediterranean Tuna Fisheries

October 29, 2014 Behavior in net

Atlantic and Mediterranean fishing nations are getting ready to come together for the annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). Our coalition has a list of things we would like to see member nations accomplish.

Pacific Tuna Fisheries: Decisive Management Requires Transparency and Timely, Accurate Data

September 25, 2014 IMG_1388

The tenth session of the WCPFC Technical and Compliance Committee commences on 25 September in Pohnpei, Micronesia.

Collaboration at Sea: ISSF’s Bycatch Project Cruises Again

September 23, 2014 Measuring Yellowfin

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is the science provider to the WCPFC, the RFMO with the mandate for assessing and managing tuna resources in the western and central Pacific Ocean. For several years, SPC has been tagging tropical tunas in the region with both conventional and archival tags. These tagging cruises provide crucial inputs to the stock assessments done by SPC as well as information about the movement behavior of the different tuna species.

Pacific Fisheries 2.0

August 24, 2014 torre g at sea

Simple upgrades can yield meaningful improvements in how we manage one of the region’s most valuable assets

To protect bigeye tuna, keep your eye on the big picture

August 22, 2014 Yellowfin Figure 17

Bigeye tuna and its fate in the western and central Pacific is a hot topic in the world of seafood sustainability right now.

Protecting Sharks – Idea Sharing at the Symposium on Fisheries Bycatch in Oceania

August 9, 2014 hutchinsonblog

Students and scientists from all over the globe came together in Suva, Fiji last month to discuss threats to biodiversity in the Pacific region, including climate change, habitat loss, overfishing and bycatch- during the Society for the Conservation of Biology’s Oceania section conference.


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