International Seafood Sustainability Foundation
Tuna is one of the most popular seafood choices in the world, whether it is raw sushi tuna, canned tuna or wild freshly caught tuna. As its popularity rises and more people consume tuna an increased pressure is put on the health and stability of wild tuna stocks. In order to ensure that we will enjoy this wonderful fish for generations to come we must change our harvesting techniques and increase the practice of using sustainable fishing techniques. The ISSF or International Seafood Sustainability Foundation is an organization that focuses on promoting conservation, sustainability and ecosystem health in the global tuna fishing industry. It has a wide range of members including environmental groups, scientists, commercial fishing groups and other stakeholders who have a goal of encouraging the sustainable harvesting of tuna. This diverse and varied group of stakeholders which includes commercial corporations and fishing fleets has led to some criticism about impartiality and heel dragging on major initiatives. However others commend the diversity as change can be more effective when there is consensus among all stakeholders.
One of the main goals of the ISSF is to work with fisheries management organizations in specific regions and provide science based recommendations that encourage sustainable fishing methods and ecosystem health. The ISSF also works with different countries to help battle and monitor unlicensed and illegal fishing.
The view of the ISSF is that our current tuna fishing techniques are unsustainable and ecologically damaging. By using facts and scientific analysis sustainable tuna fishing practices and techniques can be found and promoted. They work with all stakeholders in order to promote solutions and to induce governments and fishing companies to support their ideas for long term sustainable harvesting. The key principles of the ISSF are:
- To work with fisheries management organizations to conserve marine ecosystems and the tuna species
- Achieve maximum sustainable yields of specifically targeted tuna
- Eliminate illegal tuna fishing practices
- Reduce bycatch
- Share data and work to better understand tuna stocks
As consumers of canned tuna we do hope that many of these methods will be successful and sustainable tuna fishing becomes widely practiced.
The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation has a website that has more information on the organization at iss-foundation.org