JANUARY

Biodegradable FAD Workshops

ISSF fisheries scientist Dr. Gala Moreno and Dr. Jefferson Murua of AZTI-Tecnalia, who leads ISSF Skippers Workshops, held the first two of four workshops in 2019 to help tuna fishers make the transition to biodegradable fish aggregating devices (FADs), which are made with natural materials rather than plastic.

The January workshops, co-hosted by ISSF and the U.N. FAO-GEF-funded Common Oceans ABNJ Tuna Project, convened fishers and other sustainable-fishing stakeholders in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, and Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The fishers’ feedback helped to shape an ambitious project in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean – the world’s largest tuna-fishing region – later in the year to study how FAD use and fleet behaviors vary by region.


FIP Meeting for Fleets

ISSF’s Susan Jackson, Dr. Victor Restrepo, Holly Koehler, and Juan Pedro Monteagudo hosted an ISSF Fishery Improvement Project Support Meeting in Los Angeles, California. The ISSF team introduced participants from six Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) and their associated fleets as well as one FIP implementer to helpful ISSF resources — from scientific reports to workshops and consultations — to guide their activities. The tuna FIPs represented the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans and four tuna RFMOs.

For FIPs pursuing Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, our interactive “FIP Resources Finder” shows which ISSF educational resources can assist them in earning passing scores on different MSC Performance Indicators (PIs). Helping global tuna fisheries meet sustainability criteria to achieve the MSC certification standard — without conditions — is ISSF's ultimate objective.

FEBRUARY

Scientific Advisory Committee Meeting

The ISSF Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) held its annual meeting in Maui, Hawaii. Led by head ISSF scientist Dr. Victor Restrepo, the SAC comprises leading marine and fisheries scientists from esteemed institutions worldwide. In addition to guiding research priorities and supporting technical reports at ISSF, the SAC provides reference material for ISSF’s Board of Directors to consider before taking action on sustainability efforts.

To kick off ISSF’s 10th anniversary, the SAC authored an op-ed for Seafood News. In “Why we do it, and how we’re making a difference," the Committee outlined five ways its scientific work has improved tuna conservation and seafood sustainability.

“The SAC is able to identify priorities in knowledge gaps, and to fill these gaps through scientific research,” they explained, “as well as work with vessel skippers on technical matters like FAD design, fishing strategies that reduce bycatch, and pre-certification assessments of tuna fisheries regarding the MSC standard.”

Find Out More:

Read the op-ed in Seafood News (PDF posted with permission)

image

MARCH

International Workshop on Mitigating Environmental Impacts of Tropical Tuna Purse Seine Fisheries

Nearly 60 scientists, NGO experts, and tuna RFMO representatives, manufacturers, and fishing companies — including ISSF participating companies — joined ISSF staff in Rome to re-assess purse-seine tropical tuna fishing’s impact on the marine environment.

Co-sponsored by ISSF and the Common Oceans ABNJ Tuna Project, the first-ever International Workshop on Mitigating Environmental Impacts of Tuna Purse Seine Fisheries featured six sessions examining bycatch, especially of sharks and rays; catch of small bigeye and yellowfin tuna; and FAD designs and management. Workshop participants also debated the effectiveness of sustainability efforts over the past decade and identified future research priorities.

image