ISSF Releases Updated State of the Stocks
May 28, 2009 Washington, DC â€“ The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) Board of Directors – supported by science – red-listed Eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) bigeye, sending a clear message to the member countries of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) about the pressing need for conservation measures to ensure the sustainability of the stock.
â€œIATTCâ€™s own Science Committee has called for better management but for too long member nations have failed to act,â€ said Bill Fox, WWFâ€™s vice president and managing director of fisheries who serves as vice chair of ISSF. â€œThis stock doesnâ€™t have the luxury of time – it needs action now.â€
ISSF, a partnership between the tuna industry and WWF, the global conservation organization, uses the most sound science compiled by regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) to rate the 19 stocks which support commercial tuna fishing. A red-listing means EPO bigeye is being overfished with no conservation measures in place to ensure its sustainability.
â€œISSF made a commitment to sustainability through science and weâ€™re determined to keep that focus,â€ said ISSF president Susan Jackson. â€œIATTC member nations still have time to act at their upcoming meeting this June.â€
EPO bigeye and yellowfin have been fished without conservation measures in place since 2007 which prompted ISSF board members to pass a conservation resolution urging the IATTC to follow the advice of its scientific staff and for companies to refrain from transactions in EPO bigeye this September if science-based conservation measures are not in place.
According to ISSFâ€™s latest assessment a majority of the worldâ€™s tuna stocks remain healthy. All stocks of skipjack can support growth while stocks of albacore are sustainably managed. Worldwide, yellowfin stocks can not support growth and need further monitoring.
For a complete look at the state of the stocks, click here.
The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) is a global partnership among scientists, the tuna industry and the environmental non-governmental organization community. Its mission is to undertake science-based initiatives for the long-term conservation and sustainable use of tuna stocks, reducing by-catch and promoting ecosystem health.