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Commercial Fishing



ISSF announces new tuna conservation measures. The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) has announced the adoption of a new conservation measure requiring that fishing vessels have publicly available fish aggregation device (FAD) management policies to comply with ISSF supply-chain recommendations for marine ecosystem health. These policies must be in line with science-based best practices outlined in ISSF’s report, “Recommended Best Practices for FAD Management in Tropical Tuna Purse Seine Fisheries.”

“Since ISSF’s founding 10 years ago, we’ve prioritized better management of FADs and the reduction of bycatch and other marine ecosystem impacts across all oceans,” explains ISSF President Susan Jackson.

“This new conservation measure gives leading seafood companies a clear framework, based on years of scientific research, in sourcing tuna from vessels that are following best practices in designing, deploying, and recovering FADs — and also in reporting FAD data to Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs).”

ISSF Conservation Measure 3.7 Transactions with Vessels or Companies with Vessel-based FAD Management Policies, approved by the ISSF Board of Directors to take effect in 2021, states that ISSF participating companies shall conduct transactions only with those purse seine vessels whose owners develop and make public FAD management policies that include the activities purse seine and supply vessels are undertaking (if any) on the following elements:

  • Comply with flag state and RFMO reporting requirements for fisheries statistics by set type
  • Voluntarily report additional FAD buoy data for use by RFMO science bodies
  • Support science-based limits on the overall number of FADs used per vessel and/or FAD sets made
  • Use only non-entangling FADsto reduce ghost fishing
  • Mitigate other environmental impacts due to FAD loss including through the use of biodegradable FADsand FAD recovery policies
  • For silky sharks(the main bycatch issue in FAD sets), implement further mitigation efforts

Helping global tuna fisheries become capable of achieving Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification without conditions has long been an ISSF objective, and improved FAD management is an important component of meeting the MSC standard. Conservation Measure 3.7 is ISSF’s second measure focused on FADs specifically, and its tenth measure focused on bycatch mitigation in tuna fisheries.

For full details on Conservation Measure 3.7, read the complete text here