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Our Story

IMG_1388Tuna fishing is one of the world’s few remaining large-scale hunts. The main species – skipjack, yellowfin, bigeye and albacore – are integral to the greater marine ecosystem, support the diet of millions and, as a commodity, tunas are fundamental to the global economy.

In 2009, acclaimed scientists, leaders in industry and environmental champions launched the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) based on shared concerns about the future of tuna fisheries and a desire to do something about it – together. Our mission is to undertake science-based initiatives for the long-term conservation and sustainable use of tuna stocks, reducing bycatch and promoting ecosystem health.

Principles of Governance

ISSF’s actions reflect the principles of governance that defines its mission to undertake science-based initiatives for the long-term conservation and sustainable use of tuna stocks, reducing bycatch and promoting ecosystem health:

  • Work with RFMOs to achieve their objectives of conservation of tuna stocks and their ecosystems;
  • Employ sound science for attaining maximum sustainable yields of targeted tuna stocks;
  • Strive to eliminate illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) tuna catching;
  • Provide for the health and care of the marine ecosystem;
  • Facilitate use of the precautionary approach;
  • Minimize bycatch, discards, and abandoned gear;
  • Collect and exchange data to promote better scientific understanding of tuna stocks;
  • Support certification programs that meet the 2005 eco-labeling guidelines of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

A diverse Board of Directors sets the agenda with the counsel of an independent Scientific Advisory Committee, an Environmental Stakeholder Committee, a Bycatch Project Scientific Steering Committee, a Vessel Committee and staff.

ISSF Objectives

Improve the sustainability of global tuna stocks by developing and implementing verifiable, science-based practices, commitments and international management measures that result in tuna fisheries meeting the MSC certification standard1 without conditions, and becoming the industry standard for vessel owners, traders, processors and marketers.

ISSF will cooperate with and support Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs), and vigorously advocate to RFMO members for the adoption and implementation of science-based management measures so that tuna stocks and their ecosystem are managed comprehensively and sustainably.