In 2019, we’re celebrating ISSF’s first “Decade of Discovery” of researching, sharing, and advocating best practices in sustainable tuna fishing.
To kick off our 10th anniversary celebration, we’re sponsoring the first-ever ISSF Seafood Sustainability Contest. The contest invites marine science graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to submit innovative proposals for addressing bycatch mitigation and ocean-ecosystem challenges in tropical tuna purse-seine fisheries. Individuals or teams can submit online entries through December 31, 2019. Watch a video about the contest.
We also have co-sponsored the International Workshop on Mitigating Environmental Impacts of Tropical Tuna Purse Seine Fisheries with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for the Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) Common Oceans Tuna Project. The contest was announced at the workshop, which took place at FAO Headquarters in Rome on March 12-13.
A DECADE OF DISCOVERY
In 2009, acclaimed scientists, leaders in industry, and environmental champions launched the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) based on shared concerns about the future of global tuna fisheries and a desire to do something about it — together.
ISSF has worked for the long-term conservation and sustainable use of global tuna fisheries through its three pillars of Science, Influence, and Verification. We launched our second 5-year Strategic Plan in 2018, which formalized support for fisheries improvement activities.
Our contributions to advancing sustainable fisheries — which are explored on our “Decade of Discovery” timeline — include:
- Tuna Conservation: Through regular Status of the Stocks Reports, ISSF creates a window into tuna-stock assessments on a global scale for management, science, and conservation interests.
- Bycatch Mitigation: Through at-sea research, ISSF-supported scientists uncover new lessons, develop ideas and solutions, and implement strategies and tactics for bycatch mitigation. ISSF develops and disseminates their discoveries and best practices through global Skippers Workshops.
- Seafood Company Compliance: ISSF evaluates participating company compliance with all ISSF Conservation Measures – including an emphasis on traceability from product to processing facility to fishery to vessel – and communicates those results publicly to promote transparency.
- Advocacy: Along with NGO partners and other allies, ISSF regularly advocates for critical new RFMO measures to improve global conditions around IUU fishing, deployment of monitoring, control and surveillance technology, harvest control rules, increased observer coverage, and improved data collection.
- ProActive Vessel Register: Through the ProActive Vessel Register (PVR), ISSF manages and updates a publicly accessible database of 1,000+ vessels, across all gear types, committed to transparency in their adherence to science-backed and auditable fishing practices.
Seafood News has published an op-ed by members of ISSF’s Scientific Advisory Committee reflecting on these contributions. “ISSF’s Scientist Advisors Reflect on a Decade of Discovery: Why we do it, and how we’re making a difference,” published March 15, 2019, is available online by subscription to Seafood News.
In addition, Susan Jackson has written an op-ed reflecting on her 10 years as ISSF president, “6 lessons for converting adversaries into allies,” which was published in GreenBiz.com.