ISSF Participating Companies have committed not to do business with vessels finning sharks. (Photo: Albacora/FIS)
ISSF participating companies will stop working with shark finning vessels
Tuesday, June 05, 2012, 02:20 (GMT + 9)
The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) has announced that all ISSF Participating Companies have adopted a policy pledging not to do business with vessels that fin sharks. These firms are asking vessel owners to adopt the same policy by September 2012.
Shark finning is the practice of cutting off and retaining shark fins and discarding the remaining carcass while at sea.
The companies that have adopted an anti-shark finning policy from 1 June are Albacora, Bolton Alimentari, Bumble Bee Foods, Chicken of the Sea, Clover Leaf, CMC, Frinsa, Jealsa Rianxeira SA, MWBrands, Nirsa, Pataya, Princes, RS Cannery, Salica Industria Alimentaria, Sealord, South Seas Tuna Corporation, StarKist, Thai Union and TriMarine.
ISSF earlier this year asked the tuna industry to take action toward ending the practice of shark finning, noting that it violates the Food and Agriculture Organisation 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 organisations and national governments.
“Building sustainable tuna fisheries requires consideration for non-tuna species” said Susan Jackson, president of ISSF. “This measure calls on the tuna industry as a whole to apply the necessary pressure on vessel owners to end this practice while we engage RFMO member nations to establish effective enforcement measures.”
By September, processors, traders, importers, transporters and others involved in the seafood industry must stop conducting transactions with boats that carry out shark finning or with vessel-owning companies that do not have a public policy prohibiting the practice.
After a period of two years from the date of the conclusion of the investigation, those involved in the seafood industry can resume transactions with those vessels, provided there are no further incidents.
The policies adopted by ISSF Participating Companies are public and the organisation has created a directory listing each company’s policy statement against shark finning.
ISSF also continues to advocate that Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMO) adopt improved shark conservation measures.
ISSF is a global coalition of scientists, the tuna industry and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) promoting science-based initiatives for the long-term conservation and sustainable use of tuna stocks, reducing bycatch and promoting ecosystem health.
By Natalia Real