In 2019, just one year after formalizing our Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) support as part of our new Strategic Plan, ISSF scientists and consultants engaged with nearly 100% of active tuna purse-seine Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) worldwide. They also connected with several tuna FIPs not yet listed as active and about 75% of longline FIPs.

For this outreach, ISSF staff traveled to Europe, Asia, and North America, attending scientific meetings and also meeting with vessel owners, fleet associations, and FIP coordinators. ISSF scientists participated in seven fishery improvement stakeholder meetings.

In addition to reviewing FIP action plans against best practices, our team engaged with more than 25 FIPs from purse-seine, longline, and pole-and-line fisheries, helping them to improve their chances of achieving an unconditional pass against the Marine Stewardship Council fisheries standard.

FIP Meetings and Successes

ISSF also collaborated on FIP issues with partner organizations, including WWF, MSC, and In March, Holly Koehler presented on ISSF FIP support and tools at the Fresh and Frozen Supplier Roundtable (hosted by Sustainable Fisheries Partnership) at the Boston Seafood Show. ISSF staff presented the interactive “FIP Resources Finder” and educational resources to six fleets, spanning all oceans, at the Joint ISSF-WWF Purse Seine FIP Meeting in May. In June, ISSF gathered in Madrid with WWF representatives from Spain, Pakistan, Italy, Ecuador, Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. to assess tuna FIP progress and develop global strategies.

Many FIPs are taking advantage of ISSF tools, resources, technical reports, best practices, and recommendations — including on FAD data reporting and recovery policies. We will continue our outreach to purse-seine FIPs while increasing our engagement with pole-and-line FIPs, especially to develop “train-the-trainer” materials and workshops for longline FIPs.

Tuna FIP stakeholders seeking ISSF assistance in meeting fishery challenges on their path to certification can request ISSF FIP Support.

This screencast shows how to navigate, search, and access publications and other tools in our FIP Resources Finder, which is organized by Principles in the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Fisheries Standard.

It is very satisfying that ISSF technical report best practices and recommendations are being implemented in the FIP action plans of purse seiners, longliners, and pole-and-line vessels. Key FIP implementers are also using ISSF tools and technical reports to guide their work — and they view ISSF as a partner.

-Dr. Hilario Murua, Senior Scientist, ISSF