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POSITION STATEMENT: Indian Ocean Tuna Commission

ISSF has published its position statement ahead of the 23rd session of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), which will take place June 17-21, 2019. Our top asks:

  1. Adopt an effective rebuilding plan for yellowfin tuna that gives full effect to the advice of the IOTC Scientific Committee, and also revise the overall catch reductions contained in Resolution 18/01 to ensure rebuilding and address the current circumstances that allow for growth in some fishery sectors.
  2. Adopt species-specific harvest strategies as soon as possible, particularly for yellowfin tuna, and conduct a review of the LRPs in Resolution 15/10 to allow for the adoption of harvest control rules by 2020.
  3. Urgently address data gaps in artisanal fisheries, especially for gillnets.
  4. Strengthen MCS measures, such as VMS and the ROS, to support data collection, monitoring and the implementation of harvest strategies.
  5. Strengthen FAD management, including of supply and tender vessels; ensure full implementation of non-entangling FADs; and support testing of biodegradable FADs.
  6. Amend Res. 11/04 to require 100% observer coverage on large-scale purse seine vessels; adopt the ROS Standards for national programs; and develop EM/ER standards so that EM can be used to ultimately achieve 100% observer coverage in purse seine and longline fisheries.
  7. Continue to strengthen the IOTC compliance assessment process.

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Tuna Tools

ISSF produces the Status of the Stocks report, which scientifically assesses 23 commercial tuna stocks worldwide based on the most recent abundance and fishing mortality data.

The comprehensive report indicates how a stock is being managed — including through reference points and harvest control rules — and whether it is at “healthy” levels, overfished, or in danger of becoming overfished. Status of the Stocks also examines the environmental impact of tuna fishing on other marine species, or “bycatch.”

To visualize current and historical data from our stock report, use our Interactive Stock Status Tool. You can download and share the customized graphics you create.

Learn more here


Tuna Facts


In the WCPFC and IATTC, 100% coverage is required for large-scale purse seine vessels.

More on RFMO oberver requirements

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. Helping global tuna fisheries meet sustainability criteria to achieve the Marine Stewardship Council certification standard — without conditions — is ISSF's ultimate objective. In 2019, ISSF celebrated a “Decade of Discovery” as the organization completed its tenth year of scientific research, advocacy and industry engagement. To learn more, visit iss-foundation.org, and follow ISSF on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.