Conformance with Conservation Measures Demonstrates Continuous Progress
The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) has released its Update to ISSF Conservation Measures & Commitments Compliance Report, which shows a first-ever conformance rate of 100 percent by 28 ISSF participating companies with all 21 ISSF conservation measures in effect as of December 31, 2016. ISSF Participating Companies account for about approximately 75% of the global canned tuna market.
As part of its commitment to transparency and accountability, ISSF engages third-party auditor MRAG Americas to assess ISSF Participating Companies’ compliance with ISSF’s conservation measures according to a rigorous audit protocol.
The November 2017 Update is based on audits conducted from May–November 2017 on measures where some companies had “minor” or “major” nonconformance. Improvements noted since the May 2017 ISSF Conservation Measures & Commitment Compliance Report include:ISSF participating companies -- 75% of the canned tuna market -- have reached a #conservation milestone. Click To Tweet
- MRAG’s new audit showed 28 companies have corrected all non-conformances to become fully compliant with all 21 measures audited, compared to 22 fully-compliant companies in the May 2017 report.
- None of the companies had minor non-conformances, as compared with five that did in May 2017. MRAG’s May report also showed that six companies had at least one major non-conformance, with a total of 12 major non-conformances found. As of the November 2017 update, all major non-conformances had been remediated.
- Participating companies were able to close their compliance gap in 2016, moving from 97.5 percent (May 2017 report) to 100 percent full conformance.
- The rate of full conformance has increased steadily each reporting period:
- June 2015: 79.8 percent
- June 2016: 87.2 percent
- October 2016: 95.6 percent
- May 2017: 97.5 percent
- November 2017: 100 percent
The ISSF Conservation Measures & Commitments Compliance Report is published annually to track ISSF participating companies’ progress in conforming with ISSF conservation measures like these:
- Tracing tuna products by fishing and shipment vessels, fishing trip dates, fish species, ocean, and other factors
- 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
ISSF adopts new conservation measures regularly; four new measures were adopted in 2017, for example.
In addition to the summary compliance reports, third-party independent auditor MRAG Americas issues individual ISSF participating company reports that document in detail their compliance with conservation measures. Last year marked the first time that ISSF started publishing the individual company compliance reports on its website.
“Transparency and independence in the auditing process create the foundation for accountability that make our conservation measures effective, and each company’s actions influence and raise the bar for the other industry players,” said ISSF President Susan Jackson. “These companies have come a long way in making sustainability a part of their business strategy. They’re helping to make sure that they’re not only following the conservation measures on a path of continuous improvement individually, but that the companies as a group are also setting the tone for the entire tuna industry.”
More Information about ISSF Conservation Measures & Compliance
For long-term tuna sustainability, a growing number of tuna companies worldwide are choosing 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. To learn more, visit https://iss-foundation.org/, and follow ISSF on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.