Tuna RFMO Wins

This year, 83 NGOs, tuna companies, fleet associations, retailers, and other global organizations joined ISSF in calling for RFMO action for sustainable fisheries: harvest strategies and strengthened monitoring, control and surveillance tools, including the management of fish aggregating devices (FADs).

ISSF’s collaborative advocacy for Indian and Eastern Pacific Ocean tuna fisheries also covered priorities specific to these regions:

  • effective tuna conservation measures;
  • strengthened action for bycatch mitigation and conservation of sharks;
  • increasing observer coverage on certain vessel and gear types;
  • and stronger measures to combat IUU fishing and regulation of at-sea transshipment.

What are the successes so far this year against these asks?

Indian Ocean Tuna Fisheries | IOTC

  • Adopted a new timeline for the development and implementation of harvest strategies — a solid basis for advancing harvest strategies and harvest control rules for all Indian Ocean tuna stocks
  • Now the first tuna RFMO to require that fresh sharks be landed with their fins naturally attached — helping to enforce existing measures to conserve sharks and strengthen data collection
  • Adopted amendments to its IUU vessel listing procedure — strengthening the ability to list vessels that are presumed to have been operating illegally. Coupled with the mandatory use of International Maritime Organization (IMO) numbers, this action helps combat IUU fishing activities


Eastern Pacific Ocean Tuna Fisheries | IATTC

  • Adopted a 3-year tuna measure that avoids an increase in fishing mortality for yellowfin and bigeye tuna. The measures for 2018-2020 include a 72-day fishery closure, consistent with scientific advice to offset a recent increase in fishing capacity. The fishery closure for 2017 was extended for fleets fishing with
  • Will require the use of non-entangling FAD designs starting in 2019
  • Adopted other management measures for FADs for 2018-2020: limits on FAD number per vessel; new requirements for FAD deployments and reporting

The two other tuna RFMOs — ICCAT and WCPFC — will hold their annual meetings in November and December, respectively. Watch this space for more on ISSF asks and outcomes for tuna RFMOs.  


Read a full review of this year’s IOTC meeting

Read a full review of this year’s IATTC meeting

Learn more about RFMOs and how ISSF works with them



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 https://iss-foundation.org/.