ISSF wants all tuna fisheries, regardless of fishing method, target species, or location, to be sustainable — capable of meeting the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification standard without conditions.

 ISSF’s new 5-year strategic plan establishes ambitious goals for our role in tuna fisheries improvement.

Strategic Goals for Fisheries

MSC certification is a science-based global standard in sustainable fishing, and seafood products sourced from MSC-certified fisheries can carry the MSC “ecolabel” for consumers. Helping all tuna fisheries to become capable of realizing MSC’s certification standards “without conditions” is ISSF’s long-time guiding objective.

The harvesting of seven economically significant tuna species is carried out by, or takes place in the waters of, 80 nations. Tuna fishing involves thousands of vessels in all oceans, and impacts many marine species and environments. Given that scale and scope, ISSF’s new 5-year strategic plan establishes ambitious goals for our role in tuna fisheries improvement.

Tuna Fishery Improvement Projects

All of ISSF’s strategic pillars support fisheries improvement work.

A Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) is a multi-stakeholder effort to address environmental challenges in a fishery. A FIP utilizes the power of the private sector (e.g., retailers, processors, producers, and/or catchers) to incentivize positive changes toward sustainability in the fishery and seek to make these changes endure through policy change. The FIP identifies the environmental issues that need to be addressed, sets the priority actions that should be undertaken, and then oversees the action plan adopted.

FIPs are structured, collaborative, and multi-year initiatives that need to have detailed workplans and regular milestones for evaluating progress. Fishery stakeholders may start a FIP to make improvements to some — or all — of the environmental issues in the fishery. Some FIPs may aim to achieve a level of performance consistent with an unconditional pass of the MSC standard, while others may have MSC certification as an end goal. ISSF has resources for these different types of tuna FIPs.

For more background on fishery improvement projects, see our FIP FAQs.

FisheryProgress.org

FIPs are tracked globally by FisheryProgress.org, which you can search by FIP name, species, country, participant, and progress rating. ISSF advises all FIPs to create a profile for their project on the site.

FisheryProgress.org also provides a variety of resources to:

For businesses and foundations that are supporting FIPs, FisheryProgress.org makes it easier for them to assess progress.

FisheryProgress.org is overseen by an advisory committee and managed day to day by FishChoice. The Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions developed the FIP guidelines that are the foundation for the site. The Technical Oversight Committee helps to guide the evaluation process and related functionality.  

Tuna FIP Support

 

Image of FIP Resources Finder tool

Our FIP Resources Finder tool helps fisheries find ISSF reports and other resources that can help FIPs improve their performance on each MSC Performance Indicator (PI).

Each tuna FIP addresses one or more gear types and tuna species. There are more than 30 tuna FIPs worldwide — including with participation from some ISSF participating companies — encompassing four of the five tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organization (RFMO) regions, with the potential for many new additional projects.

See ISSF FIP Resources to learn how we can help tuna FIPs to be successful. Access ISSF resources, which are matched to MSC Performance Indicators, through our FIP Resources Finder tool.

If you need more assistance, contact us with FIP questions or requests.