Yesterday saw the launch of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF). Composed of scientists, environmental organizations, and the tuna industry, ISSF will focus on ensuring that tuna populations are preserved from overfishing.
Greenpeace, an environmental organization not involved with ISSF, has welcomed its creation. “So far those organizations mandated to manage tuna stocks have failed to do much more than push the species to the brink of extinction,”said Sari Tolvanen, Greenpeace International oceans campaigner. “With the fishing industry clearly willing to fish itself to death, it’s great to see processors finally taking a stand. Now we need the fine words of the ISSF to be translated into real action.”
Tuna are in crisis. The large-scale failure of tuna fisheries to manage the populations has created a situation where every species and nearly all populations are in decline. Some such as Southern bluefin tuna have been classified as critically endangered in the IUCN’s Redlist, but are still being fished. According to a recent study by Jeremy Jackson populations of predatory fish, including tuna, have dropped 90 percent since the 1950s.
In a press release from Greenpeace, the organization urges ISSF to put forward the highest possible standards on the industry, including only fishing tuna from well-managed, non-threatened populations; using fishing methods that do not result in high by-catch; banning Fish Aggregation Devices (FADs) which have been shown to increase the catch of juvenile fish too young to have bred; foregoing transshipping at sea; and ensuring all tuna sold was legally caught.
Furthermore, Greenpeace says that ISSF must address issue of equity to make sure that all fishing nations receive a fair price for their tuna.
“We expect ISSF member companies to ‘walk the talk’ they will deliver to tuna management bodies,” said Nina Thuellen, Greenpeace International oceans consumer markets coordinator. “This means the ISSF’s political demands must also be reflected in the sourcing standards of its members. They must also be accountable to consumers who want and have the right to legal, fair and sustainable products.”
Nobu offers critically-endangered species to sushi diners
Nobu, a pricey and trendy sushi restaurant with locations around the world, regularly serves critically-endangered Northern bluefin tuna to its clientele, reveals an investigation by the environmental group Greenpeace.
The long-ignored ocean emergency and what can be done to address it
This year has been full of bad news regarding marine ecosystems: one-third of coral species threatened with extinction, dead-zones spread to 415 sites, half of U.S. reefs in fair or bad condition, increase in ocean acidification, tuna and shark populations collapsing, and only four percent of ocean considered pristine. Jeremy Jackson, director of the Scripps Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at the University of California, San Diego, synthesizes such reports and others into a new paper, published in the journal Proceedings of the Naional Academy of Sciences, that boldly lays out the scope of the oceanic emergency and what urgently needs to be done.
How sustainable is your canned tuna? It depends on the retailer
To aid concerned tuna-lovers, Greenpeace has ranked eight of the top canned tuna retailers in order from most sustainable to least. Canned tuna from John West, the biggest retailer of tuna in the UK, proves to be the worst of the lot, whereas Salinburys is the most environmentally-friendly. In a press release Greenpeace said that Salinburys is “the only tinned tuna brand that is fished using sustainable methods”.
Tuna may go the way of cod: a collapsed fishery
The collapse of the cod fishery could provide important lessons to prevent a similar fate for some tuna populations, say researchers presenting at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Boston on February 18.
World’s first sustainable tuna fishery certified
The world’s first certified sustainable tuna fishery was announced today, a move that could help save one of the world’s most valuable fish — and the fishing industry that relies on it — from extinction.