Conformance Rate Increases to 95.6%
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Charlie Patterson, +1 202-680-8132, [email protected]
Washington, D.C.—21 November 2016—The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) has released its Update to ISSF Conservation Measures & Commitments Compliance Report, which shows a conformance rate of 95.6 percent by 25 ISSF participating companies as of October 31, 2016, across all 20 measures then in effect. ISSF Participating Companies account for about 75% of the global canned tuna market.
The November 2016 Update is based on audits conducted June 2016–October 2016 on measures where some companies had “minor” or “major” nonconformance. Improvements noted since the June 2016 ISSF Conservation Measures & Commitment Compliance Report was published include:
- 14 companies were found to be fully compliant with all 20 measures.
- 19 companies were fully compliant in 17 or more conservation measures.
- “Minor” non-conformance with measures dropped from 11.6% to 4.4%.
- All 6 “major” non-conformances have been corrected, resulting in the first 0% “major” non-conformance rate since the report has been published.
The ISSF Conservation Measures & Commitments Compliance Report is published annually to track ISSF participating companies’ progress in conforming with ISSF conservation measures like these:
- Tracing tuna products by fishing and shipment vessels, fish species, ocean, and other factors
- Establishing and publishing policies to prohibit shark finning and avoiding transactions with vessels that carry out shark finning
- Conducting transactions only with purse seine vessels whose skippers have received educational information from ISSF on best practices such as reducing bycatch
- Avoiding transactions with vessels that are on an RFMO Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) Fishing list
In addition to these summary reports, third-party independent auditor MRAG Americas issues individual company reports that document in detail each company’s compliance with conservation measures. This year, for the first time since ISSF started tracking and reporting company compliance in 2013—and in response to requests for deeper information—ISSF now publishes the individual company compliance reports on its website.
“That many of the tuna industry’s key players are conforming to science-based conservation measures, opening their books to independent auditors, and reporting their findings publicly, would be accomplishment enough,” said ISSF Board Member Dr. Bill Fox, Vice President, Fisheries, WWF-US. “But efforts to improve participating company conformance within the audit year—increasing the conformance rate by seven points in just five months—raises the bar for the industry and the market as a whole. And it represents continuous improvement in action.”
ISSF continually expands and refines its science-based conservation measures, which now number more than 25. New measures passed by the ISSF Board of Directors in October 2016—some taking effect in 2016, and others in 2017 or later—cover non-entangling FADs, product traceability, and fishing capacity management.
More Information about ISSF Conservation Measures & Compliance
For long-term tuna sustainability, a growing number of tuna companies worldwide are choosing to participate with ISSF, follow responsible fishing practices, and implement science-based conservation measures. From bycatch mitigation to product traceability, ISSF participating companies have committed to conforming to a set of conservation measures and other commitments designed to drive positive change—and to do so transparently through third-party audits.
“We recognize that transparency underpins all of the initiatives we tackle, and all of the collaborative efforts we undertake,” said ISSF President Susan Jackson. “Transparency reinforces the understanding that we are not only committed to making a difference, but to clearly demonstrate ongoing improvement in meeting that commitment.”
As part of its commitment to transparency and accountability, ISSF engages third-party auditor MRAG Americas to audit ISSF Participating Companies—assessing their compliance with ISSF’s Conservation Measures and Commitments. MRAG Americas conducts independent auditing based on a rigorous audit protocol.
About the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF)
The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) is a global coalition of scientists, the tuna industry and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) — the world’s leading conservation organization — promoting science-based initiatives for the long-term conservation and sustainable use of tuna stocks, reducing bycatch and promoting ecosystem health. To learn more, visit iss-foundation.org.