Measure for ISSF Participating Companies Highlighted in Position Statement for June 2021 IOTC Annual Meeting
ISSF announced a new ISSF conservation measure (CM) requiring its participating companies to reduce annual sourcing of Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna. ISSF Conservation Measure 1.3 IOTC Yellowfin Tuna Rebuilding becomes effective in the event that the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) does not take action at its June 2021 annual meeting to effectively implement IOTC scientific committee advice on the reduction of yellowfin catch. The new measure is included in ISSF’s recently released IOTC position statement.
ICYMI: Conservation Measures & Commitments Compliance Report
ISSF recently released its Annual Conservation Measures & Commitments Compliance Report—showing a conformance rate of 99.4 percent by 26 ISSF participating companies—published in coordination with the 2020 annual report Staying the Course.
It tracks companies’ progress in conforming with ISSF conservation measures (CM) like these:
- Demonstrating the ability to trace products from can code or sales invoice to vessel and trip
- Transactions only with those longline vessels whose owners have a policy requiring the implementation of best practices for sharks and marine turtles
- 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 science-based 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
Three measures were newly in effect for the 2020 audit period, and all 26 companies were in full conformance with them:
- CM 2.4 Supply Chain Transparency, Audit, Reporting and Purchase Requirements
- CM 7.1(b) Controlled Vessels — Longline
- CM 7.5 Purchases from PVR Vessels — Longline
ISSF engages third-party auditor MRAG Americas to audit participating companies to assess their compliance with ISSF’s conservation measures. MRAG Americas conducts independent auditing based on an audit protocol. MRAG Americas also issues individual company reports detailing each organization’s compliance with ISSF measures, and ISSF publishes these individual company reports on its website.
UPDATED: Acoustic Discrimination Technology to Support Selective Fishing
If purse-seine fishers could more accurately identify the species, size, and number of tuna as well as non-tuna at fish aggregating devices (FADs) before fishing operations begin, they can avoid overfishing and reduce bycatch.
ISSF’s at-sea scientific research and publications on acoustic technology and information to better discriminate tuna species, and fish more selectively, are summarized on this infographic, updated in March 2021.
A second, related infographic details research on how acoustic technology like echosounders could be used by purse-seine vessels to fish more selectively at fish aggregating devices (FADs).