In these reports, we share our research-based recommendations for sustainable tuna fisheries management, covering observer programs, transshipment, and many other key topics.

Best practices reports are authored by our fisheries policy experts and/or fisheries scientists. See also our companion “best practices snapshots” series and our scientific reports.

ISSF 2022-03: An Evaluation of the Sustainability of Global Tuna Stocks Relative to Marine Stewardship Council Criteria*

Date Added: February 1, 2022
Authors: Paul A.H. Medley, Jo Gascoigne, Giuseppe Scarcella
Downloaded: 387 times
Tags: Albacore Tuna, Bigeye Tuna, Harvest Strategies, IATTC, ICCAT, IOTC, MSC Certification, RFMOs, science, Skipjack, Stock Status, Tuna, WCPFC, Yellowfin Tuna
Language: English
Featured: False
Report Type: Technical Report

Description

This is a January 2022 version of a report ISSF has published since 2013.

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has established a program whereby a fishery may be certified as being sustainable. The sustainability of a fishery is defined by MSC criteria embodied in three Principles: relating to the status of the stock, the ecosystem of which the stock is a member, and the fishery management system.

Since many of these MSC criteria are comparable for global tuna stocks, the MSC scoring system was used to evaluate 23 stocks of tropical and temperate tunas, including the bluefin tuna stocks (added in 2021), throughout the world and to evaluate the management systems of the Regional Fishery Management Organizations (RFMOs) associated with these stocks. No evaluation has been made here of the fishery specific ecosystem criteria in this report. The principles that were assessed were:

  • Principle 1 (P1): A fishery must be conducted in a manner that does not lead to over-fishing or depletion of the exploited populations and, for those populations that are depleted, the fishery must be conducted in a manner that demonstrably leads to their recovery, and
  • Principle 3 (P3): The fishery is subject to an effective management system that respects local, national and international laws and standards and incorporates institutional and operational frameworks that require use of the resource to be responsible and sustainable.

Each of these Principles is evaluated in relationship to Performance Indicators (PIs) within each Principle based on public information available by January 2022. The MSC has established rigorous Guidelines for scoring fisheries (MSC Fisheries Standard and Guidance v2.01 – effective from 28 February 2019; http://www.msc.org/).