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ISSF Calls For Yellowfin Conservation Measures

The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) is calling for scientifically sound, measureable, and enforceable conservation measures for Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna. A report prepared by the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) Performance Review Panel recently warned that existing conservation measures “have not prevented the stock from being overfished.”

“It’s important to the sustainability of this tuna stock that overfishing is eliminated,” said Susan Jackson, president of ISSF, which will have observer status at the IOTC meeting from March 30 – April 3 in Bali, Indonesia.

The IOTC is expected to consider a resolution for the conservation and management of yellowfin tuna based on IOTC Science Committee recommendations and a proposed resolution submitted by the European Community.

 “While ISSF is new to this dialogue, we think it is important that the IOTC member nations realize our global partnership is committed to supporting the science,” Jackson said. “Right now the science is telling the IOTC that more needs to be done.”

ISSF recognizes sound scientific recommendations are dependent on the collection of comprehensive data. In support of making more complete information available, ISSF adopted a resolution committing itself to helping RFMOs better compile data on fishing of stocks. Jackson also testified before a United States Congressional Subcommittee in support of increased funding to improve the ability of nations to build capacity for data collection and management of fisheries.

“ISSF is founded on the principle that RFMOs have an unequaled role in the sustainability of tuna stocks,” Jackson said. “We’re a supportive ally in this process.”