During the Infofish World Tuna and Trade Conference in Bangkok, International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) President Susan Jackson spoke on the importance of a multilateral approach involving all stakeholders in the tuna industry and revealed the NGO’s latest effort to bring more sustainable management practices to global tuna fisheries.
Jackson announced the creation of the ProActive Vessel Register (PVR), an online database designed to recognize vessel owners that are taking steps to fish for tuna more responsibly. The PVR will identify which of more than 25 commitments each vessel has adopted, including implementing strategies to increase supply chain transparency, providing complete data to management bodies and continuing education in best practices that reduce fishing’s impact on the greater marine environment.
Vessels can apply to be listed on the PVR online and a third party audit will ensure transparency. A small fee, based on vessel type and size, will fund ongoing monitoring and provide each listed vessel with an Apple iPad, which will come equipped with logging and educational applications.
“This is a project on an unprecedented scale… A project that will give processors, traders and other vessel customers the confidence that they are sourcing from vessels committed to improved practices.” said Susan Jackson in today’s speech. “That same confidence will move right down the chain of supply to retailers and ultimately the consumer. The transparency will provide an accurate window into all the steps of the process.”
Jackson continued on to say, “We are creating an integrated data network through the use of Apple iPads onboard vessels so that records are updated as a fishing trip ends, with little burden on the time of the captain and crew, once they have been trained to use the technology properly. A simple update in a matter of minutes from a skipper in any ocean region and we know more than we did yesterday. Multiply that by every vessel, every day at sea, and you’ve got a new type of database that has never existed in this industry and that has the power to completely change fisheries management.”
About the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF)
The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) is a global coalition of scientists, the tuna industry and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the world’s leading conservation organization, promoting science-based initiatives for the long-term conservation and sustainable use of tuna stocks, reducing bycatch and promoting ecosystem health. To learn more, visit their website at iss-foundation.org.