ISSF Resolution to Prohibit Shark Finning
Shark Finning Banned by World’s Largest
Tuna Conservation Coalition
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release by the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF),
1 February 2012 – A conservation measure passed by the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) Board of Directors will require industry participants to adopt written policies that prohibit the practice of shark finning and refrain from transactions with fishing vessels that engage in the practice.
Shark finning is the act of removing a shark’s fin while discarding the carcass at sea. Shark finning violates the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation’s (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries as well as several other resolutions adopted by the FAO, other international marine organizations and national governments.
“There is no room for shark finning in a sustainable tuna fishery” said Susan Jackson, President of ISSF. “We’re calling on the tuna industry as a whole to prohibit this practice while we work with RFMO member nations to strengthen management and enforcement measures and for national governments to follow through with implementation.”
According to the ISSF Resolution to Prohibit Shark Finning:
- By June, all ISSF Participating Companies must establish and publish company policies that ban shark finning;
- And by September, processors, traders, importers, transporters and others involved in the seafood industry, must refrain from transactions with vessels that carry out shark finning or with vessel owning companies that do not have a public policy prohibiting shark finning.
Read the full text of the resolution below.
About the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF)
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. To learn more, visit their website at iss-foundation.org
RESOLUTION 12-01: to Prohibit Shark Finning
INTERNATIONAL SEAFOOD SUSTAINABILITY FOUNDATION (ISSF)
January 23, 2012 Meeting, Miami, FL, USA
Resolution by ISSF to Prohibit Shark Finning
Recalling that the tuna Regional Fishery Management Organizations (tRFMOs) are responsible for ensuring, through effective management, the long-term conservation and sustainable use of highly migratory fish stocks in the world’s oceans;
Noting that the objective of ISSF is to facilitate, in support of the RFMOs’ mandates, the effective conservation and management of tuna resources and the ecosystem to which they belong;
Recalling that “shark finning” is the practice of retaining shark fins and discarding the remaining carcass while at sea;
Mindful that shark finning contravenes the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and its International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks, as well as the resolutions of a number of other international marine bodies, all of which call for minimizing waste and discards;
Concerned that shark finning has also contributed to major uncertainties about the total biomass and species composition of sharks caught;
Aware that tRFMOs restrict shark finning through a proviso that the weight of fins landed cannot exceed 5% of the total shark catch on board;
Noting that several countries have already enacted national laws that abolish shark finning [by requiring that fins remain naturally attached to the body];
Concerned that the fin-to-carcass ratio can vary considerably depending on the species, the dressing of the carcass, and on the different ways fins are cut, therefore creating difficulties in enforcement and accurate data collection;
Recalling that the 2011 ISSF Resolution to Establish Multi-Annual Commitments to Strengthen Purse Seine Vessel Conservation and Management Measures for Tuna Resources (ISSF Res. 11-03) calls for the full retention of sharks caught by purse seiners (except prohibited species or those released alive) on board by January 1, 2014;
Desiring to advance the date of entry into force of the above-mentioned rule and to extend its applicability to longline tuna fisheries;
The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation Resolves:
1. That, by 1 June 2012, all ISSF-participating companies establish and publish policies prohibiting shark finning.
2. To urge tRFMO members to strengthen their management of sharks caught in association with tuna fisheries by prohibiting shark finning and adopting the mandatory reporting of shark catches by species.
3. To require all tuna fishery operators to prohibit shark finning and retain, land and report all sharks caught, except for species that are prohibited by national law or tRFMO regulations, or those individuals that are released alive.
4. To adopt the conservation measure that processors, traders, importers, transporters and others involved in the seafood industry, beginning on 1 September 2012 do not conduct transactions with vessels that carry out shark finning, or with companies that do not have a public policy prohibiting shark finning.
5. For the purpose of determining if a vessel is conducting shark finning, processors, traders, importers, transporters and others involved in the seafood industry will rely upon the conclusions of investigations conducted by the tRFMOs or national governments.
6. After a period of 2 years from the date of the conclusion of the investigation, processors, traders, importers, transporters and others involved in the seafood industry can resume transactions with those vessels identified in paragraph 4, provided there are no further incidents.
Source: International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF)