Princes and ISSF mark 10 years of science-led tuna sustainability improvements

19th maart 2019

Princes and the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) are celebrating the organisation’s 10th anniversary of improving standards in tuna fishing with a ‘Decade of Discovery’ campaign in 2019.

Princes was a founding partner of the ISSF in March 2009, and plays an active leadership role in challenging and promoting the organisation’s work and standards towards the long-term conservation and sustainable use of global tuna stocks, reducing bycatch and promoting tuna ecosystem health.

Highlights from ISSF’s first “decade of discovery” (2009-2019) include the creation of the Proactive Vessel Register (PVR), which requires each ship’s captain in approved fisheries to be trained in how to minimise bycatch, ensuring responsible tuna sourcing.

The PVR is the most effective mechanism currently available that transparently identifies those individual vessels that are implementing science-based, sustainable tuna fishing practices. Throughout 2018, 100% of the large purse seine vessels Princes purchased tuna from were registered on the PVR.

The organisation has also successfully brought together retailers, marine scientists, seafood companies, vessels, Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs), charitable foundations and fellow NGOs to collaborate and engage in transformational practices to improve standards across the industry.

“Our partnership with ISSF is a crucial component of our tuna sustainability strategy, and allows us to play an integral role in driving improved standards in the industry, said Princes Corporate Relations Director David McDiarmid. “Together, we are committed to supporting the long-term conservation and sustainable use of global tuna fisheries, and we believe this can only be achieved through collaboration and a science-led approach.”

ISSF is marking the anniversary with a Seafood Sustainability Contest to pioneer the next generation of sustainable tuna fishing initiatives. Marine-science graduate students and postdoctoral researchers interested in helping to pioneer the next generation of sustainable tuna fishing initiatives — especially to reduce bycatch and protect ocean ecosystems — are invited to submit their ideas via the ISSF website.

“Ten years ago, ISSF formed out of a shared vision and commitment that more could be done — and needed to be done — for the protection and long-term sustainable use of tuna stocks,” said ISSF President Susan Jackson. “A great deal has been accomplished over that time period, and we’re proud of the legacy we’ve built as ambassadors for science and as collaborators with the diverse collection of NGOs, foundations, retailers and fishers working in this space. Our tenth anniversary Seafood Sustainability Contest will allow us to tap into a talented pool of up-and-coming marine science students. We can’t wait to dive into their ideas, and are eager to support potential solutions that result from it.”

ISSF was launched by scientists, leaders in industry, and environmental champions based on shared concerns about the future of global tuna fisheries and a desire to do something about it — together. The organisation has worked for the long-term conservation and sustainable use of global tuna fisheries through its three pillars of Science, Influence, and Verification, and launched a new 5-year Strategic Plan in 2018, which formalised support for fisheries improvement activities. Visit the Strategic Plan microsite to learn more.