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ISSF Commits To Resolution On Dongwon IUU By End 2013

The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) has confirmed that it will have a final resolution to an ongoing investigation into Dongwon IUU fishing allegations by the end of this year. A Dongwon-owned tuna purse seiner faced allegations in March this year of IUU fishing activities in African waters, as well as forging government documents. As Korea’s largest tuna company and one of the global leaders, Dongwon is listed as an ISSF member through its US StarKist tuna brand.

Greenpeace immediately reacted to the accusations, concerned about IUU practices in global tuna fisheries. Greenpeace wrote about ISSF: “the industry body supposedly working to ensure the highest standards of sustainable and ethical practice. Not only do the companies involved in this activity have questions to answer, but so too does the ISSF.”

In reaction to the allegations, ISSF announced that it would immediately launch an investigation into the matter. But while no result has been brought to public attention on the heels of the indictments, ISSF has vowed to the disclosure of a resolution by the end of this year.

Mike Crispino, ISSF Vice President of Communication and Outreach told “I can confirm that our investigation is ongoing and we will have a final resolution on the matter by the end of this year. ISSF takes this issue very seriously, which is why we want to be thorough in our investigations and clear in our communications.”
While the listing of its major US tuna brand –StarKist-, makes Dongwon a member of ISSF, the convicted vessel -F/V Premier- is not mentioned in its “Proactive Vessel Register.” This database shows each vessel’s progress towards, and commitment to, specific best practices in sustainable tuna fishing. There is no mention on the ISSF website of the vessel not being in compliance.