International Seafood Sustainability Foundation Appoints Thai Union Group’s Global Director of Group Fish Procurement to Chair; William Gibbons-Fly, former U.S. Department of State Lead Fisheries Negotiator, Also Joins Board
Contact:

Charlie Patterson, +1 202-680-8132, [email protected]

Location:

Washington, D.C.

Date: April 15, 2021

The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) announced today the appointment of Kevin Bixler as Chair of its Board of Directors. Mr. Bixler, Global Director of Group Fish Procurement for Thai Union Group, succeeds Luciano Pirovano, Director of Sustainable Development for Bolton Food, in the role.

William Gibbons-Fly, former U.S. Department of State Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries, also joins the Board, and current Board member Dr. Rohan Currey, Chief Science and Standards Officer, Marine Stewardship Council, is appointed as Vice Chair.

“I want to extend our deepest gratitude to Luciano Pirovano for his service as Board Chair. During his tenure, ISSF adopted some of our most notable conservation measures, reaching a total of 30 measures in effect today; led non-entangling and biodegradable FAD research; and created key sustainability resources, including the Vessels in Other Sustainability Initiatives (VOSI) vessel list. Luciano also guided us through an especially challenging time as we faced the global COVID-19 pandemic. We will always be grateful,” said ISSF President Susan Jackson. 

“Luciano and I are excited to pass the Board Chair torch to Thai Union’s Kevin Bixler, who has deep experience at the crossroads of commercial fishing and sustainability. Kevin will bring new perspectives with an excellent track record on the issues we care about. I look forward to his leadership,” Jackson continued. 

On the ISSF Board, Mr. Bixler and Mr. Gibbons-Fly join a diverse and global group of leaders from non-governmental organizations, #marine #science, government agencies, and the #seafood industry. Click To Tweet

“As a founding ISSF participating company, Thai Union has been a supporter of the ISSF mission since day one,” said Mr. Bixler. “I am proud to take on this role and join an impressive group of sustainability leaders to ensure continued progress towards the long term sustainability of tuna fisheries. I look forward to working with some of the best minds in the tuna conservation space.” 

On the ISSF Board, Mr. Bixler and Mr. Gibbons-Fly join a diverse and global group of leaders from non-governmental organizations, marine science, government agencies, and the seafood industry. In addition to fiduciary and governance responsibilities, ISSF Board members advance the mission of the Foundation, including through the adoption of ISSF conservation measures, to which ISSF participating companies commit to conform.

Other ISSF Board members are:

  • Dr. Transform Aqorau, Pacific Fisheries Expert and former CEO, Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA)
  • John Connelly, President, National Fisheries Institute
  • Dr. Rohan Currey, Chief Science and Standards Officer, Marine Stewardship Council
  • Dr. Giuseppe Di Carlo, Lead Conservationist, WWF-International
  • Javier Garat, Secretary General, Cepesca
  • Bill Holden, Chair, ISSF Environmental Stakeholder Committee, Senior Tuna Fisheries Outreach Manager, Marine Stewardship Council
  • Susan Jackson, President, ISSF
  • Ichiro Nomura, Fisheries Policy Advisor, Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Republic of Indonesia
  • Dr. Victor Restrepo, Vice President, Science, ISSF
  • Dr. Martin Tsamenyi, Professor of Law & Former Director of the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources & Security (ANCORS), University of Wollongong, Australia

About Kevin Bixler

Kevin Bixler has worked closely with the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation for many years in his multiple roles with the Thai Union Group, where he has served as Global Director, Group Fish Procurement, since 2017. Reporting directly to Thai Union’s Executive Chairman, Kevin has the primary responsibility of directing the entire group’s global fish sourcing strategy and execution. He has worked at Thai Union Group for the past 15 years. 

Kevin has extensive knowledge of the fishing industry, having been involved in every facet of the business his entire life. Coming from a tuna fishing family, he spent his early years in the Pacific Islands on fishing vessels with his family. A graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)—where he was also a member of the UCLA Bruins football team—Kevin earned his degree in Political Science and International Relations in 2003.

Kevin has served as board member of the American Fisherman’s Research Foundation for the past several years and is on the Advisory Board of the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation.

About William Gibbons-Fly

Bill Gibbons-Fly is the Executive Director of the American Tunaboat Association (ATA). Previously, he served as a Senior Executive at the U.S. Department of State, where he led the development and implementation of United States’ international fisheries policy, including as lead negotiator for the United States on a wide range of international treaties, agreements, and arrangements.

He has served as Chairman of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI), the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), the Western Central Atlantic Fisheries Commission (WECAFC), the Preparatory Conference for the North Pacific Fisheries Commission (NPFC), and numerous other international fisheries bodies.  Mr. Gibbons-Fly holds an M.A. in International Affairs from the George Washington University and a B.A. (with honors) from the University of California at Santa Barbara. 

About the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF)

The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) — a global coalition of  seafood companies, fisheries experts, scientific and environmental organizations, and the vessel community — promotes science-based initiatives for long-term tuna conservation, FAD management, bycatch mitigation, marine ecosystem health, capacity management, and illegal fishing prevention. Helping global tuna fisheries meet sustainability criteria to achieve the Marine Stewardship Council certification standard — without conditions — is ISSF's ultimate objective. To learn more, visit iss-foundation.org, and follow ISSF on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.