For many years, people around the world have fished for tuna. Fishing was local, and as most tuna are highly migratory, fishing for tuna was seasonal. Yellow fin tuna is a species of tuna that is found in tropical and subtropical oceans around the world, and in the Pacific Ocean, there were various artisanal fisheries for yellow fin. In the mid- 20th century, the demand for tuna increased, which spurred the advent of the large scale yellow fin tuna fishery.

  • 1950The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) was established to oversee the conservation and management of tuna and other marine resources in the waters of the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP). In the ensuing years, Pacific Alliance fishermen have made continuous efforts to improve the management and regulation of the Pacific Alliance Fishery.
  • 1972 The U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act was passed. Soon after, the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service began a mandatory on-board observer program to gather information on dolphin mortalities in ETP tuna fisheries, which led to new regulations implemented in the United States.
  • 1992 To better respond to incidental dolphin mortalities, the United States, Mexico and other Latin American countries signed the La Jolla Agreement and enacted the International Dolphin Conservation Program.
  • 1995 The Governments of Mexico and other countries, with the support of five environmental organizations (Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, National Wildlife Federation, Environmental Defense Fund and Ocean Conservancy), signed the Declaration of Panama. The Declaration seeks to ensure the long-term sustainability of the ETP’s tuna stocks and marine resources by settings annual catch limits and promoting research on alternative means of capturing large yellow fin tuna not in association with dolphins.
  • 1997 The U.S. Congress implements its obligations under the Declaration of Panama by enacting the International Dolphin Conservation Program Act (IDCPA). The law and the subsequent Agreement on the International Dolphin Conservation Program (AIDCP) have been hailed as a landmark in international fisheries management accords, most notably by President Bill Clinton, who signed it into law.
  • 2003 The Convention for the Strengthening of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (commonly referred to as the “Antigua Convention”) was adopted by the members of the IATTC. The Antigua Convention represents a substantial revision of the IATTC constitution and reflects developments in modern international fisheries management.
  • 2014 The Pacific Alliance for Sustainable Tuna is officially formed. The members of the Pacific Alliance commit themselves to the long-term sustainability of the Pacific Alliance Fishery, as demonstrated by the announcement that the Pacific Alliance is undergoing full assessment against the MSC standard by SCS Global Services, with the goal of demonstrating that tuna catch by the Pacific alliance members is from an MSC certified sustainable fishery.