ISSF position statements raise issues and recommendations for Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) to consider in their policymaking discussions and decisions.

Our advocacy team prepares and circulates our statements in advance of major tuna RFMO meetings. Some statements are available in several languages, depending on RFMO region. If you would like to request an older version of a statement, write to us at [email protected].

ISSF 2021-07: Survey of the Treatment of Support/Supply/Tender Vessels in Tuna RFMOs*

Date Added: February 26, 2021
Downloaded: 73 times
Tags: Best Practices, CCSBT, FADs, IATTC, ICCAT, IOTC, Koehler, Moreno, RFMOs, Supply Vessel, WCPFC
Authors: Dr. Gala Moreno, Holly Koehler
Language: English
Featured: False
Report Type: Technical Report


The use of man-made floating objects, also known as drifting fish aggregating devices (dFADs), by purse seine vessels has increased in all oceans. In addition, purse seine vessels often utilize other vessels – called supply, support, auxiliary or tender vessels – to deploy dFADs and service them.  The use of such vessels and recent technological advances have made purse seine fishing with dFADs increasingly efficient and contributed to effort creep.

At present, three of the four tropical tuna RFMOs allow the use of these vessels in the tuna purse seine fishery. The degree to which the use of support vessels is regulated, monitored, or data collected on these vessels’ activities, including the deployment of FADs, varies. This Technical Report surveys how support vessels are currently treated in tuna RFMOs and identifies a set of Best Practices.

See also our RFMO Best Practices Snapshot on treatment of support/supply/tender vessels.