INTERNATIONAL SEAFOOD SUSTAINABILITY FOUNDATION
April 25, 2013 Meeting, Brussels, Belgium
Resolution by ISSF to Amend Resolution 12-03 to Establish Multi-Annual Commitments to Strengthen Purse Seine Vessel Conservation and Management Measures for Tuna Resources;
Recalling that in 2011 ISSF adopted a Resolution to Establish Multi-Annual Commitments to Strengthen Purse Seine Vessel Conservation and Management Measures for Tuna Resources (Res. 11-03) and amended in 2012 (Res. 12-03);
Recognizing the need to amend Resolution 12-03 to take into account new information that has become available since then;
Recalling that the Tuna Regional Fishery Management Organizations (RFMOs) are responsible for ensuring, though effective management, the long-term conservation and sustainable use of highly migratory fish stocks in the world’s oceans;
Noting that the objective of the ISSF is to facilitate, in support of the RFMO’s mandates, the effective conservation and management of tuna resources and the ecosystem to which they belong;
Noting that effective monitoring, control and surveillance of fishing activities within the area of each RFMO is necessary for effective management;
Noting further that a scientific committee or staff supports each RFMO, comprised of some of the world’s finest scientists who study and understand the health of the world’s tuna populations and the ecosystem to which they belong;
Recognizing that the scientific study of the RFMO scientific bodies is only as good as the completeness and accuracy of the supporting data;
Conscious of the need of RFMO scientific bodies to receive and analyze comprehensive data on all substantial sources of fishing on the tuna stocks, including from FAD fisheries;
Noting that all tuna RFMOs are already collecting or receiving some data on FAD fisheries through observer programs or fishing logbooks, and that these efforts must be made more comprehensive in order to properly assess the impact of FAD fisheries;
Recalling that the Committee of the Fisheries of FAO adopted on 2 March 2001 the International
Plan of Action to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fisheries, and that the Council of FAO adopted it on 23 June 2001;
Noting that this plan of action stipulates that the identification of vessels carrying out IUU activities should follow agreed procedures and be applied in an equitable, transparent and non-discriminatory way;
Recognizing that IUU fishing diminishes the effectiveness of conservation and management measures and the long-term sustainability of the resources being managed;
Further recognizing that IUU fishing denies the RFMOs important and valuable data and thereby undermines the effectiveness of their scientific programs;
Being aware that member government and flag state enforcement of and compliance with existing and future conservation measures and the successful elimination of illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing requires transparent, timely information about the compliance with existing and future conservation measures;
Recognizing that ISSF is working to improve the performance of RFMOs in adopting and member governments in complying with and enforcing conservation and management measures;
Further recognizing that levels of compliance are varied, and in some instances, non-compliance with adopted measures has become the norm;
Conscious that, at the present time, ISSF Resolutions can be most effective and transformative in the purse seine tuna fishing sector;
Determined to continue working, using its tools of advocacy and market action, to improve effective conservation and management of tuna resources and the ecosystem to which they belong and monitoring, control and surveillance of fishing activities;
Expecting that this multi-annual plan will accelerate reform in the conservation and management of tuna resources and the ecosystem to which they belong and monitoring, control and surveillance of fishing activities;
Desiring that other NGOs, fishing industry participants, RFMO members and cooperating non-member governments will support these efforts;
______________ ISSF will promote the use of its Proactive Vessel Register (PVR) as a verifiable tool, audited by a third party, to identify purse seine vessels that comply with specific commitments.
The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation Resolves to adopt the conservation measure that processors, traders, importers, transporters and others involved in the seafood industry, beginning on the Commitment Completion Dates given below, for purse seine caught tuna conduct transactions only with those vessels that comply with the specific Commitment Objectives below.
A. Data Collection and Reporting
DATA REPORTING BY PURSE SEINE VESSELS
Commitment Objective: Purse seine vessels report their Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) use to RFMO scientific bodies. The data will consist of the elements in ANNEX 1.
- For vessels fishing in the area of an RFMO that adopts mandatory FAD data collection/reporting requirements to the RFMO scientific body that are consistent with ANNEX 1, data submissions will take place through the mechanisms and in the time frames set up by that RFMO (e.g., regional observer program, fishing logbooks, national data submissions, etc.);
- Otherwise, data submissions from vessels will take place within one month of the end of each fishing trip through a third-party mechanism set up by ISSF, or through an authorized national research institute or management authority. Transmittal to the RFMO science body will take place with a six-month delay in order to protect time-sensitive information. The data should be as detailed as possible (e.g. set-by-set), taking into account each RFMO’s requirements for the level of aggregation required for catch/effort data and to be treated under the confidentiality rules set by the relevant RFMO.
Commitment Completion Date: 06/30/2014
2011 - 2012
Working with ISSF Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), ISSF Vessel Committee, RFMOs, and other experts, develop format and content of FAD data to be recorded and develop reporting, training and dissemination vehicle. Advocate to main purse seine fishing nations to require through their national legislation the use of FAD logbooks on purse seine vessels
Advocate to RFMOs to adopt consistent RFMO-wide measures to require mandatory reporting of comprehensive FAD information as outlined in ANNEX 1.
2013 – 2014
Train fleet owners, skippers, and observers on data to be collected and reported.
Work with fleets that are using electronic logbooks to facilitate the consolidation of data.
Assist RFMO Secretariats, as needed, to assimilate the data into their databases.
B. Bycatch Mitigation
1 FULL RETENTION OF SHARKS AND OTHER FISH
Purse seine vessels
Commitment Objective: Total catch retained on board except those individuals that are released alive or those whose retention is prohibited by an RFMO Resolution or vessel’s flag state’s national law. Training on proper handling and release of bycatch will occur.
Commitment Completion Date: 12/31/2015. To be revisited at the last 2015 Board meeting.
Implement regional projects to understand market and other impacts of retained fish being landed, with special emphasis on avoiding conflicts with subsistence and artisanal fisheries and enhancing food security through the development of durable local markets for retained fish. RFMO advocacy for adoption of requirement. Fleet advocacy and education relating to this requirement and to ensure proper handling of bycatch.
2013-2015 – Two or three specific coastal countries will be identified for pilot projects, such as in the Western Pacific and Western or Eastern Africa, with the individual projects designed to explore the market viability of a retain-all strategy in different cases:
(i) Cases where the processing plants can utilize the bycatch (e.g. to make fishmeal or other products) without substantially impacting local fishers;
(ii) Cases where local markets can buy and re-sell the bycatch without significantly undermining subsistence fishers or coastal fishing communities;
(iii) Cases where reliable transportation options exist to market the bycatch outside of the port of landing, without undermining the viability of local businesses or fishers;
ISSF Participating Company, environmental NGOs, and fleet partnerships will be essential to promoting and executing these pilot projects, as will active engagement with local fisheries resource management authorities and local and regional scientific bodies.
2 BYCATCH MITIGATION
Skippers Training– purse seine vessels
Commitment Objective: All purse seine vessel skippers participate in annual training (which will be facilitated with internet-based tools) on best practices for purse seine school and FAD fishing, bycatch reduction and shark / turtle handling.
Commitment completion Date: 3/31/2013.
Working with ISSF SAC, Bycatch Steering Committee, Vessel Committee, and other experts develop training and dissemination method. Begin to train skippers.
Conduct skippers workshops and training.
2013 and ongoing
Require skippers to complete annual training / refresher programs.
C. Monitoring, Control and Surveillance:
1 UNIQUE VESSEL IDENTIFIER (UVI) NUMBERS FOR PURSE SEINE VESSELS
Unique Vessel Identifier (UVI) for purse seine vessels that are NOT required to be on an RFMO list.
Commitment Objective: All purse seine vessels must have a UVI number regardless of RFMO vessel registry listing requirements such as size and fishing area.
Commitment Completion Date: 1/1/2013
Conduct a study on mechanisms that can be used to assign UVIs to vessels that are too small to receive IMO numbers, including special arrangements with Lloyds Fairplay, RFMO Secretariats or other means. Develop implementation plan
Implement the plan to assign UVIs, including capacity-building assistance where needed.
2 VESSEL FLAG – RFMO MEMBERSHIP / COMPLIANCE
Purse seine vessels flag and compliance
Commitment Objective: Purse seine vessels must be flagged to a member of the relevant RFMO (or cooperating non-member, if membership is not available under the RFMO Convention) and the flag state is in substantial compliance with RFMO obligations. During the phased implementation of this commitment, some allowances will be provided for purse-seine vessels listed on the ISSF Proactive Vessel Register if they are in good standing with all mandatory requirements.
Commitment Completion Date: 12/31/2014
2011 – 2012
Conduct review across all RFMOs on levels of members’ compliance with RFMO obligations in purse seine fisheries.
RFMO advocacy, with assistance from the Vessel Committee and Environmental Stakeholder Committee, for increased transparency and detail in RFMO compliance process.
Publish an implementation and communications plan for the definition and measurement of “substantial compliance”
3 OBSERVER COVERAGE / TRAINING
3.1 Observer coverage – purse seine vessels
Commitment Objective: 100% observer coverage (human or electronic if proven to be effective) of purse seine vessels.
Commitment Completion Date: 1/1/2013 unless prevented by force majeure conditions in a particular region. To facilitate implementation, coverage for a vessel will considered to be satisfactory in 2013 if the vessel has an observer onboard in at least one trip. Starting in 2014, taking into advice the recommendation from the ISSF Scientific Advisory Committee, 100% coverage will require presence in every fishing trip and observing every fishing operation.
Conduct advocacy to critical fishing nations and fleet owners.
3.2 Observer training- purse seine vessels
Commitment Objective: Observers on board purse seine vessels satisfactorily complete annual observer training, with course content to be regularly updated (which will be facilitated with internet based tools and in-person training).
Commitment Completion Date: 1/1/2014
2011 – 2012
Working with ISSF SAC, RFMO’s, Vessel Committee, and other experts, develop standards for observer programs and observer training material.
Conduct training and testing of observers.
2014 and ongoing
Skippers to complete annual training / refresher programs as required.
Purse seine vessels
Commitment Objective: No transshipments at sea, whether high seas, EEZ, territorial seas or archipelagic waters. Exemptions will be made in cases where the at-sea transshipments are authorized (as necessary, by all of the following: the vessel’s flag state, by the coastal state where the transshipment took place, and by the relevant RFMO) and the transshipped catch is adequately sampled according to the RFMO science provider. Such exemptions shall be based on a detailed report that will be reviewed and approved by the ISSF Board and announced publicly through the ISSF Web Site.
Commitment Completion Deadline: 1/1/2012
D. Tuna Stock Health
FULL RETENTION OF TUNAS
Purse seine vessels
Commitment Objective: All purse seine caught tuna (skipjack, yellowfin and bigeye), except those unfit for human consumption, retained onboard (“unfit for human consumption” will follow the definition adopted by WCPFC CMM 2009-02).
Commitment Completion Date: 1/1/2013. To facilitate implementation, retention will considered to be satisfactory in 2013 if the vessel does full retention in at least one trip with an observer onboard. Starting in 2014, full retention will pertain to every fishing trip, in the presence of an observer as in paragraph 3.1.
RFMO advocacy efforts for adoption of permanent requirement.
This Resolution replaces ISSF Resolution 12-03 in its entirety.
FAD data to be reported by vessel operators in a ‘logbook’ or other reporting mechanism
a) An inventory of the FADs present on the vessel specifying in particular for each FAD:
i. FAD identifier (i.e., FAD Marking or beacon ID or any information allowing to identify the owner)
ii. FAD type (anchored FAD, drifting natural FAD, drifting artificial FAD),
iii. FAD design characteristics (dimension and material of the floating part and of the underwater hanging structure),
b) Any visit on FADs. For each visit on a FAD, whether followed or not by a set, the,
iv. FAD identifier (i.e., FAD Marking or beacon ID or any information allowing to identify the owner)
v. FAD type (anchored FAD, drifting natural FAD, drifting artificial FAD),
vi. FAD design characteristics (dimension and material of the floating part and of the underwater hanging structure),
vii. type of the visit (deployment, hauling, retrieving, loss, intervention on electronic equipment).
c) If the visit is followed by a set, the results of the set in terms of catch and by-catch.
Force Majeure (French for “Superior Force”) is an event or effect, both acts of nature and acts of people, that can neither be anticipated or controlled, such as, for example, floods, hurricanes, riots, strikes or wars.