The harvesting of seven economically significant tuna species is carried out by, or takes place in the waters of, 80 nations. Tuna fishing involves thousands of vessels in all oceans, and impacts many marine animals and environments.
Given that scale and scope, ISSF’s strategic plan establishes ambitious goals for our role in helping to improve tuna fishery sustainability, particularly through fishery improvement projects, or FIPs.
Helping global tuna fisheries meet sustainability criteria to achieve the Marine Stewardship Council certification standard — without conditions — is ISSF’s ultimate objective.
A Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) harnesses the power of the private sector (e.g., retailers, processors, producers, and/or catchers) to incentivize positive changes toward sustainability in the fishery — and seek to make these changes endure through policy change.
A FIP is a multi-stakeholder effort to address some — or all — environmental challenges in a fishery. It identifies the issues that need to be addressed, sets the priority actions that should be undertaken, and then oversees the work plan adopted.
Some FIPs may aim to achieve a level of performance consistent with an unconditional pass of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard, while others may have MSC certification as an end goal.
FIPs are structured, collaborative, and multi-year initiatives that need to have detailed workplans and regular milestones for evaluating progress.
FIPs are tracked globally by FisheryProgress.org, which you can search by FIP name, species, country, participant, and progress rating. Businesses and foundations that are supporting FIPs can evaluate their progress on the site, and other stakeholders can:
FisheryProgress.org is overseen by an advisory committee and managed day to day by FishChoice. The Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions developed the FIP guidelines that are the foundation for the site. The Technical Oversight Committee helps to guide the evaluation process and related functionality.
Our “Tuna FIPs” table links to publicly listed FIPs from around the world that are third-party verified. Each tuna FIP addresses one or more gear types and tuna species. ISSF advises all FIPs to create a profile for their project on the site.
There are nearly 50 tuna FIPs worldwide — including with participation from some ISSF participating companies — encompassing four of the five tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organization (RFMO) regions, with the potential for many new additional projects.
Our “Advancing Sustainable Tuna Fisheries” strategic-plan microsite outlines ISSF’s priorities, goals, and work for 2018-2022 — covering seafood industry commitment, bycatch mitigation, FAD management, fighting illegal fishing, harvest strategies, and more.
ISSF’s Board of Directors sets the organization’s strategic direction. Download a PDF of our strategic plan from the site.
Explore “Transparent Accountability Across Tuna Fisheries” — our 2021 Annual Report — to learn about ISSF’s recent accomplishments and contributions in sustainable fishing.