Date: August 7, 2019

Featured Content

2019 Snapshot of Large-Scale Tropical Tuna Purse Seine Fishing Fleets

ISSF issued an updated “snapshot” of Large-Scale Tuna Purse Seine Fishing Fleets report as of June 2019. The total number of purse seine vessels, calculated based on data from the five tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs), has decreased from 1,871 in 2018 to 1,843 today, mainly due to the removal from RFMO lists of vessels under 24m that are now inactive.  

Having an accurate estimate of active vessels is critical for managing tuna fishing capacity regionally as well as globally. Although purse seine vessels account for approximately 65 percent of the 4.9-million-tonne global tuna catch, multiple databases must be searched to count all authorized purse seine vessels. To provide an annual best estimate—and to track capacity changes from year to year—ISSF analyzes and aggregates information from the five tuna RFMOs and other sources.

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Featured Video
ISSF and the Common Oceans ABNJ Tuna Project co-sponsored the Mitigating Environmental Impacts of Tropical Tuna Purse Seine Fisheries workshop, held at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ (FAO) Headquarters in March 2019. The workshop reviewed the progress cross-sector research and advocacy efforts have made in reducing bycatch and other environmental impacts and identified main focus areas for future activities. This video offers a brief overview of the workshop and interviews with attendees.



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97% of the large-scale tropical tuna purse seiners operating today have publicly known International Maritime Organization (IMO) numbers




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, and follow ISSF on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.