ISSF Continues to Be an Open Platform for Information and Accountability
“In my 35 years as a fisheries scientist and policy expert, I’ve come to believe that every discussion somehow revolves around transparency. In science, for example, what information underlies our analyses? In policy, how can people trust our decisions and their effectiveness? And, as consultants to non-governmental and international organizations, government and industry, how can we build support for needed actions? It all turns on openness and honesty.
Today, I serve on the ISSF Scientific Advisory Committee. Before that, I participated in the ISSF Environmental Stakeholder Committee. I’ve seen the tuna fishery’s evolution toward sustainability come a long way. Together, the industry and our organization have built impressive capabilities in science; improved fisheries data collection and reporting; advanced bycatch mitigation research; and worked to implement best practices for the industry—not by government mandate and enforcement, but by community agreement. This consensus, however, can function only if data and information are shared, to verify that ISSF participants follow through on what they signed up to do.”
ISSF expects the tuna industry to demonstrate and deepen its commitment to sustainable fishing and responsible seafood sourcing. From bycatch mitigation to product traceability, each ISSF participating company has committed to comply with ISSF conservation measures and other commitments designed to drive positive change—and to do so transparently through third-party audits.
And tuna vessels of all gear types can join our ProActive Register (PVR), an online database, and be audited on their compliance with select ISSF sustainability measures. In 2020, ISSF introduced a new tool for verified transparency with the release of its “Vessels in Other Sustainability Initiatives (VOSI)” list—a first-of-its-kind searchable, online list of vessels worldwide that are fishing in a Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)-certified tuna fishery and/or participating in a tuna Fishery Improvement Project (FIP).
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About the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF)
The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) — a global coalition of seafood companies, fisheries experts, scientific and environmental organizations, and the vessel community — promotes science-based initiatives for long-term tuna conservation, FAD management, bycatch mitigation, marine ecosystem health, capacity management, and illegal fishing prevention. Helping global tuna fisheries meet sustainability criteria to achieve the Marine Stewardship Council certification standard — without conditions — is ISSF's ultimate objective. To learn more, visit iss-foundation.org, and follow ISSF on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.