Dear Colleagues:

Changing the world so that marine ecosystems stay healthy, and supply chains risk-free, depends heavily on credible assurance that everyone is playing by the rules. From the start, ISSF has (diplomatically, we hope) taken the position that setting those rules is only the first step in effecting change. Change itself depends on open communication and accountability — in other words, transparency. But consider all of the processors, traders, importers, marketers and others in the supply chain. How can each link be sure the others are playing fairly? How can they not only monitor fishing practices, but also interpret the relevant recommendations?

Finding answers to those questions, I'm happy to say, has been one of the major success stories in ISSF's history. We've developed third-party compliance-audit processes that hold industry participants to exceptionally high, completely transparent standards — criteria that inject sustainability into their core business strategies. What's more, we make those audits public, so no one is left in the dark.

William Fox, Ph.D.

Former Vice-Chair, ISSF Board of Directors

The response has been gratifying for ISSF, and reassuring for anyone who depends on supply-chain integrity. In our just released ISSF Annual Conservation Measures & Commitments Compliance Report, we document:

  • Four solid years of 95 percent or greater conformance with all ISSF conservation measures among our more than 20 participating companies.

Those figures and all the details are public information, based on audits by an independent third-party agency.


In the many years before I joined ISSF and WWF, I first got my feet (and more) wet with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service. I've seen the fisheries and the whole tuna industry change almost beyond recognition. The explosions of technology, scale and productivity have been breathtaking. But the industry has been almost too successful. Like so many other seafood populations, some tuna species have been precariously stressed. However, the same industry has stepped up and taken responsibility for leading science-based improvements in fisheries management. As I prepare to ease out of the front lines and into less intense engagements, I'm confident that the world will be able to maintain the harvest of key tuna species at high, sustainable yields, while protecting the global web of related species and ecosystems — thanks, at least in part, to total transparency.

ISSF is grateful to Bill for sharing his expertise and guidance over many years on the ISSF Board and Environmental Stakeholder Committee, and we wish him a happy and healthy retirement.

-Susan Jackson, President, ISSF

William Fox, Ph.D.

Former Vice-Chair, ISSF Board of Directors

Dr. Bill Fox recently retired as vice chair of the ISSF Board of Directors. An author/co-author of more than 60 publications, he has served as WWF's U.S. Vice President for fisheries programs, U.S. commissioner to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, professor of marine biology and fisheries at the University of Miami, and director of the National Marine Fisheries Service, among other distinguished positions.