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Seafood Summit Media Briefing

ISSF President Susan Jackson Delivers Remarks
During Seafood Summit Media Briefing

Hong Kong – 7 September 2012 – Today International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) President Susan Jackson moderated a panel on Key Fishery Improvement Projects for Tuna Sustainability during the 2012 Seafood Summit in Hong Kong. Following the discussion, Jackson took part in a media briefing where she discussed the Summit and the launch of ISSF’s ProActive Vessel Register.

“For the past 3 years, ISSF has joined a coalition of different groups with common goals, rooted in a science-based approach to change,” Jackson remarked. “Out of all the stakeholder groups we work with, industry has the most power to get things done. ISSF’s message to fishers, processors, traders and importers is simple – if you commit to doing the work and following through, we will stand with you.”

“Last year ISSF asked industry to Make the Commitment. We created a global improvement plan for better practices in tuna fisheries – with the input of scientists, industry representatives and the conservation community. We started out with about 2 dozen commitments to be met over the next three years – including 100 percent observer coverage, full retention of catch and recording the use of FADs, floating objects that attract fish – and we’re already looking to add more.”

Jackson added that, “Once we identified the standard, best-in-class practices, we had to find a way to help the marketplace identify vessels that make the commitment. Just this month we are launching the ProActive Vessel Register. The PVR is an online database – audited by an independent third-party – which identifies vessels and the best practices they comply with.”

“And when researchers identify better practices, and publish their findings, you can bet there will be a new box to check on our PVR. In just over one year, ISSF has supported 12 thousand hours of at sea research to discover better practices for reducing purse seine fishing’s environmental footprint. We’re taking a fishing method that’s more than 95% effective and working to make it even cleaner.”

“While we all have a stake in sustainability, no one has more to lose than fishers,” Jackson concluded. “The bottom line is if tuna stocks are not healthy – business is not healthy. If the ecosystem is in decline, business will drop. If marine life disappears from our waters, products will disappear from store shelves. The time is now to protect the ocean’s bounty for future generations – let’s leave our grandchildren an ecosystem where 100 percent of tuna comes from healthy stocks and 100% of tuna stocks are healthy.

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.

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