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ISSF Launches Additional Tool For Transparency With New VOSI List

ISSF Launches Additional Tool for Transparency with New “Vessels in Other Sustainability Initiatives (VOSI)” List

Searchable Database Identifies Vessels Fishing in a Marine Stewardship Council-Certified Tuna Fishery and/or Participating in a Tuna Fishery Improvement Project (FIP), Among Other Activities

Washington, D.C. – October 22, 2020 – The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) has developed “Vessels in Other Sustainability Initiatives (VOSI)” — a first-of-its-kind searchable, online list of vessels worldwide that are fishing in a Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)-certified tuna fishery and/or participating in a tuna Fishery Improvement Project (FIP).

“Fishing vessels are on the front lines of our collective work toward sustainable fisheries,” said ISSF President Susan Jackson. “Our newest vessel list, which requires participating vessels to go through a third-party auditing process, offers more verified transparency when it comes to FIPs and vessels in MSC certified fisheries. Giving the public more information via the VOSI helps to recognize those vessels that are part of the sustainability solution.”

Stakeholders who want to identify vessels that have made sustainability commitments can consult VOSI and download its vessel data to their desktops in a convenient CSV format. VOSI users can search and filter the vessel list and view pop-up profiles for each vessel that include radio call sign, year built, vessel dimensions, and more. Each record in VOSI:

  • Displays a vessel’s Unique Vessel Identifier (UVI) number and UVI type along with vessel flag and vessel type
  • Indicates whether the vessel is listed in the PVR and/or the Record of Large-scale Purse Seine Vessels
  • Links to information about the MSC-certified fishery and/or FIP the vessel is in as shown on the MSC and FisheryProgress.org websites

VOSI — with more than 250 vessels already listed — is the latest ISSF online resource focused on MSC-certified tuna fisheries and tuna FIPs. At its launch, VOSI comprises only large-scale purse-seine vessels. In the future, vessels of all gear types in MSC-certified tuna fisheries or tuna FIPs will be included and can now apply for listing. Similarly, additional sustainability commitments by vessels beyond FIPs and MSC fisheries may be tracked via VOSI in coming years.

All vessels listed on VOSI are subject to regular third-party audits conducted by MRAG Americas. The audit protocol is available on the ISSF website and was developed in consultation with MSC and FisheryProgress.org. Vessels interested in applying to be listed in VOSI can access an application form here.

As a transparency tool, VOSI complements ISSF’s other public vessel lists: the ProActive Vessel Register, Record of Large-scale Purse Seine Vessels and the Tuna Vessel IMOs and UVI Numbers. Vessels in VOSI can be cross-listed in the Record and/or apply to be listed in the PVR. Fishing vessels can register on the PVR to show how they are following a suite of science-based best practices that support sustainable tuna fisheries.

About the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation

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. Helping global tuna fisheries meet sustainability criteria to achieve the Marine Stewardship Council certification standard — without conditions — is ISSF's ultimate objective. To learn more, visit iss-foundation.org and follow ISSF on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn

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