Common Oceans - A partnership for sustainability in the ABNJ

Leading marine scientists and tuna industry representatives meet at FAO headquarters to discuss 10 years of bycatch mitigation research

International Workshop on Mitigating Environmental Impacts of Tropical Tuna Purse Seine Fisheries co-hosted by ISSF and FAO

11 March 2019

March 2019 | Rome, Italy. On March 12-13, an International Workshop on Mitigating Environmental Impacts of Tropical Tuna Purse Seine Fisheries is taking place at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in Rome. The event is co-hosted by the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) and FAO, as partners under the Common Oceans ABNJ Tuna Project, to review progress and identify main focus areas for future mitigation activities.

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© ISSF/Fabien Forget

Over the last ten years, the ISSF has been conducting research and advocacy activities on how to mitigate the environmental impacts of purse seine fisheries, with support from the Common Oceans ABNJ Tuna Project that has funded some of the activities over the past five years. The efforts include at-sea research, interactive workshops with vessel skippers and advocacy for Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) to adopt mitigation measures.

During the two-day workshop, a wide range of invited participants, including leading marine scientists, observers, purse-seine skippers, fleet managers, retailers, representatives from industry, processors, fishing equipment- and technology providers, non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and RFMOs, will be united with the purpose to share insights and experiences from bycatch mitigation research – and identify topics and priorities for future research.


Through presentations and a roundtable discussion, the workshop will cover lessons learned over the last ten years, focused on the following issues:

  • Bycatch mitigation techniques
  • Observer coverage
  • Electronic monitoring
  • Tuna discards
  • Fishing capacity
  • Shark, whale shark, and ray bycatch
  • Fishing gear
  • Non-entangling fish aggregating devices (FADs)
  • Biodegradable FADs
  • FAD beaching and retrieval

Find more information related to the topic here:

- Questions and Answers about FADs and Bycatch
- Reducing FAD ecosystem impacts
- A Compendium of ISSF At-Sea Research Activities

The Common Oceans ABNJ Tuna Project, funded by the Global Environmental Facility and implemented by FAO, harnesses the efforts of a large and diverse array of partners, including the five tuna RFMOs, governments, inter-governmental organizations, NGOs and private sector, to achieve responsible, efficient and sustainable tuna production and biodiversity conservation in the areas beyond national jurisdiction.

The ISSF is a global coalition of scientists, the tuna industry and World Wildlife Fund, promoting science-based initiatives for the long-term conservation and sustainable use of tuna stocks, reducing bycatch and promoting ecosystem health. Helping global tuna fisheries meet sustainability criteria to achieve the Marine Stewardship Council certification standard - without conditions - is ISSF's ultimate objective.

For further information, please contact:

International Seafood Sustainability Foundation