ISSF Participating Companies Maintain 95 Percent or Greater Conformance Rate for Third Consecutive Year; Single Major Non-Conformance from Previous Reporting Period Remediated
The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) has released its fourth annual Update to ISSF Conservation Measures & Commitments Compliance Report, which shows a conformance rate of 99 percent by 25 ISSF participating companies with all 27 ISSF conservation measures in effect as of 2018.
As part of its commitment to foster transparency and accountability in the fishing industry, ISSF engages third-party auditor MRAG Americas to assess ISSF participating seafood companies’ compliance with ISSF conservation measures according to a rigorous audit protocol.ISSF participating #seafood companies have regularly surpassed 90% full conformance with ISSF #conservation measures. Click To Tweet
The November 2019 report is based on updates to the initial annual audit results published in April 2019, wherein some companies had “minor” or “major” non-conformances with conservation measures in 2018:
- The April 2019 annual report showed that one company had a major non-conformance, which had been remediated as of the November 2019 report’s release.
- There were no other instances of major non-conformance in 2018.
- ISSF also noted in the November 2019 report that eight participating companies had at least one minor non-conformance, for a total of nine minor non-conformances.
MRAG Americas defines a minor non-conformance as: “Company does not fully comply with a particular conservation measure or commitment, but this does not compromise the integrity of ISSF initiatives.”
The rate of full conformance for each period since participating-company compliance reporting began is reflected below:
|Annual compliance report||Update to annual compliance report|
|June 2015: 79.8 percent||No Update report published in 2015|
|June 2016: 87.2 percent||November 2016: 95.6 percent|
|May 2017: 97.5 percent||November 2017: 100 percent|
|June 2018: 97 percent||November 2018: 99 percent|
|April 2019: 98.5 percent||November 2019: 99 percent|
“As we close a year of celebrating ISSF’s decade of discovery, we are pleased to reflect on consistent years of company-specific, third-party compliance reporting,” said ISSF President Susan Jackson.
“There’s been a 100 percent success rate in ISSF participating companies addressing major non-conformances for the last three audit years, and these companies have regularly surpassed 90 percent in their rate of full conformance with a growing list of ISSF conservation measures. The ISSF audit and compliance process holds industry participants to a higher, completely transparent, standard, making sustainability a core part of their overall strategy.”
The Update to ISSF Conservation Measures & Commitments Compliance Report is published each November to track ISSF participating companies’ progress in conforming with ISSF conservation measures like these:
- New Measure During Audit Period: 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
- Submitting quarterly catch, vessel, species and other data to RFMO scientific bodies
- Demonstrating the ability to trace products from can code or sales invoice to vessel and trip
In addition to the summary compliance reports published in April and November, MRAG Americas issues yearly individual ISSF participating company reports that detail each company’s compliance with all ISSF conservation measures. These include “update” reports, published throughout the year, that explain how individual companies have remediated any non-conformance on the conservation measures.
More Information about ISSF Conservation Measures & Compliance
For long-term tuna sustainability, tuna companies worldwide choose to participate with ISSF, follow responsible fishing practices, and implement science-based conservation measures. From bycatch mitigation to product traceability, ISSF participating companies have committed to conforming to a set of conservation measures and other commitments designed to drive positive change — and to do so transparently through third-party audits.
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 Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.