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Tuna rules tightened by ISSF

Rob Fletcher
Rob Fletcher
11 May 2017, at 1:00am

Three new and two amended conservation measures to facilitate continuous improvement of global tuna fisheries have been announced by the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) today.

The five measures cover reducing incidental capture of sharks and marine turtles, supply and tender vessel monitoring, transshipment observers, and capacity management and will come into effect on January 1, 2018.

Two new measures are the first to affect longline vessels specifically. The ISSF Status of the Stocks report shows that longline fishing accounted for 12% of the tuna catch globally in 2015; longline fishers caught nearly 143,000 tons of albacore tuna, for example.

All ISSF conservation measures directly impact how nearly 30 global seafood companies that participate with the foundation do business with vessels on the water, at the processing plant, and in the marketplace.

“ISSF continually reviews its conservation measures to update existing standards or to create new measures based on scientific research, fishing methods and conservation needs,” said ISSF President Susan Jackson. “With about 75 percent of the world’s canned tuna processing capacity conforming to multiple ISSF measures for sustainability best practices, and with major tuna companies being transparently audited against those measures, we have a real opportunity to make changes on and off the water.”