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ISSF To Take A Look At Dongwon’s IUU Accusations United States, March 15, 13

ISSF says it has begun an initial review of the facts surrounding the allegations against Dongwon, which is the parent company of Starkist USA. In a statement sent to Undercurrent News, ISSF states that it’s Compliance Committee could trigger an investigation now that the Korean tuna giant has been accused of IUU fishing. The company’s tuna seiner ‘Premier’ is being connected to forged fishing documents and illegal tuna fishing in African waters.

In the past ISSF has made a separation between Dongwon’s tuna fishing arm, Dongwon Industries, which is not an ISSF member, and its canned tuna distribution arm, Dongwon F&B, which has been a member since October 2012. It seems however likely that Dongwon’s tuna operations are closely integrated in a way that its tuna purse seiners deliver to its own canneries in Korea and American Samoa. These canneries process canned tuna for StarKist, which is an ISSF founding member.

ISSF has often stated that it has no tuna fishing companies among its members. However, it is public knowledge that most ISSF members are directly involved in tuna fishing through their own fishing companies, which however may be separate legal entities.

ISSF says that all the participants of ISSF are committed to voluntarily enforced, strict standards of compliance. The Compliance Committee which is comprised out of scientists, NGOs and industry participants, with the assistance of legal counsel could determine if the information is accurate and, if it violates ISSF standards.

ISSF members have committed to not take delivery of any IUU tuna, so in case Premier is found to be IUU by the Compliance Committee, this could have implications for those members who have processed this tuna. It is unclear what the sanctions of ISSF would be in such a case.

Dongwon Fisheries Co., Ltd. CEO – Ki-Choul Wang