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ISSF Launches Guidebooks for Responsible Tuna Fishing

Tuna Sustainability Education & academia +2 more

US - The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) is offering virtual manuals that share the latest guidance on responsible tuna fishing operations all in an interactive platform for ease-of-use and centralized access.

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New to the portfolio of ISSF guidebooks is the Observer Training Guidebook, a sustainability review for observers on purse seine tuna vessels.

“Data collection and research is one facet of ISSF’s work toward improved sustainability of tuna stocks and the greater marine ecosystem,” said Dr Victor Restrepo, ISSF’s VP of Science. represents the practical application of this information in real-world terms, and is meant for an audience of fishers, observers and other stakeholders on the front lines of tuna fishing – individuals that may have the greatest impact in realizing the goal of sustainable tuna fisheries.”

Along with the newly designed guide books, ISSF also released the first edition of its Observer Training Guide, which provides observers on large-scale purse seine tuna vessels an overview of the skills necessary for effective observing, particularly as they pertain to sustainable fishing practices.

Although regional or national observer programs will benefit from the guidebooks, the manual is designed to complement rather than substitute such programmes. Effective observer coverage is one of the ISSF Conservation Measures, which calls for 100 percent observer coverage for purse seine vessels that fish for tropical tunas. The guidebook also summarizes other ISSF Conservation Measures for the management of tropical tuna and bycatch species that vessels are to follow if they intend to sell to ISSF participating companies.

In addition, the new guide includes sections on “Purse Seine Operations”, “Tuna ID”, “Bycatch”, “Scientific Sampling and Data Collection”, and “Fisheries Management”.

ISSF also presents the existing ISSF Longline Skippers’ Guidebook and Purse Seine Skippers’ Guidebook in an improved, easier-to-use online format with illustrative graphics and videos for one-click guidance and information.

The longline manual provides a guide to best practices in responsible longline tuna fishing operations, reviews the reporting requirements and other obligations to RFMOs, and informs readers about the relevant ISSF Conservation Measures for the management of tuna and its larger marine ecosystem. It includes sections on “Bycatch Mitigation & Handling” and “Fisheries Management”, among others. Similarly, the Purse Seine Skippers’ book reviews best practices in purse seine tuna fishing and includes sections on “FADs” or fish aggregating devices, “Bycatch Mitigation & Handling” and “Fisheries Management”.

All guides are also available on the site as an ePub and a printable PDF. Because the tuna industry and conservation community are global, will soon include all guidebooks in a variety of languages in addition to the English editions currently available.