ISSF reports tuna companies reach full compliance with conservation measures

Published on
December 6, 2017

The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation has announced that – for the first time – all of the companies participating in a voluntary movement have reached full compliance with measures designed to improve the long-term health of global tuna stocks.

The 28 companies participating in the movement represent about three-quarters of the canned tuna market worldwide. That includes such companies as Bumble Bee, General Tuna, StarKist, and Tri Marine. 

By comparison, when the ISSF issued its first compliance report in June 2015, the participating companies were less than 80 percent in compliance. In a report published last May, 22 of the companies were fully compliant.

The report measures companies’ progress in such conservation measures as establishing a shark-finning policy, banning transactions with vessels using large-scale pelagic driftnets, and demonstrating an ability to trace products.

Currently, the program tracks 21 measurements for compliance, but the foundation seeks to adapt new measurements regularly. This year, it has passed four new measures.

In addition to the group assessment, third-party auditor MRAG Americas issues detailed reports on each individual company. 

“Transparency and independence in the auditing process create the foundation for accountability that make our conservation measures effective, and each company’s actions influence and raise the bar for the other industry players,” ISSF President Susan Jackson said. “These companies have come a long way in making sustainability a part of their business strategy. They’re helping to make sure that they’re not only following the conservation measures on a path of continuous improvement individually, but that the companies as a group are also setting the tone for the entire tuna industry.”

Last month, the ISSF published its Status of the World Fisheries for Tuna report. It evaluated 23 stocks on such factors as bycatch, mortality and abundance. The report indicated that 78 percent of the global catch comes from healthy stocks. 

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