ISSF conservation measure conformance rate grows
2016-11-23 12:17:32   copyfrom:    hits:

ISSF conservation measure compliance level evolution (Image: ISSF Report)WORLDWIDEWednesday, November 23, 2016,02:10

ISSF conservation measure compliance level evolution. (Image: ISSF Report)


Wednesday, November 23, 2016, 02:10 (GMT + 9)


A report released this month by the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) shows a conformance rate of 95.6 per cent by 25 ISSF participating companies as of October 31, 2016, across all 20 measures then in effect.

ISSF highlights that such companies represent about 75 per cent of the global canned tuna market.

The new report, called Update to ISSF Conservation Measures & Commitments Compliance Report, is based on audits conducted between June and October on measures where some companies had “minor” or “major” non-conformance.

Improvements noted since the June 2016 ISSF Report was published include:

  • 14 companies were found to be fully compliant with all 20 measures.
  • 19 companies were fully compliant in 17 or more conservation measures.
  • “Minor” non-conformance with measures dropped from 11.6 per cent to 4.4 per cent.
  • All 6 “major” non-conformances have been corrected, resulting in the first 0 per cent “major” non-conformance rate since the report has been published.

The ISSF Report, published annually, tracks ISSF participating companies’ progress in conforming with ISSF conservation measures like the following ones:

  • Tracing tuna products by fishing and shipment vessels, fish species, ocean, and other factors;
  • Establishing and publishing policies to prohibit shark finning and avoiding transactions with vessels that carry out shark finning;
  • Conducting transactions only with purse seine vessels whose skippers have received educational information from ISSF on best practices such as reducing bycatch;
  • Avoiding transactions with vessels that are on a regional fishery management organisation illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing list.

In addition to these summary reports, third-party independent auditor MRAG Americas issues individual company reports that document in detail each company’s compliance with conservation measures.

This year, for the first time since ISSF started tracking and reporting company compliance in 2013—and in response to requests for deeper information—ISSF now publishes the individual company compliance reports on its website.

“That many of the tuna industry’s key players are conforming to science-based conservation measures, opening their books to independent auditors, and reporting their findings publicly, would be accomplishment enough,” said ISSF Board Member Dr. Bill Fox, Vice President, Fisheries,WWF-US.

Fox also pointed out that the efforts to improve participating company conformance within the audit year—increasing the conformance rate by seven points in just five months—raises the bar for the industry and the market as a whole and that it represents continuous improvement in action.

Meanwhile, ISSF continually expands and refines its science-based conservation measures, which now number more than 25.

New measures passed by the ISSF Board of Directors in October 2016—some taking effect in 2016, and others in 2017 or later—cover non-entangling FADs, product traceability, and fishing capacity management.

For long-term tuna sustainability, a growing number of tuna companies worldwide are choosing to participate with ISSF, follow responsible fishing practices, and implement science-based conservation measures.

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