What We’re Up To: ISSF Skippers’ Workshopby Pacific Alliance for Sustainable TunaMarch 4th, 2015

What We’re Up To: ISSF Skippers’ WorkshopOn January 12 and 14, the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) began their 2015 series of Skippers’ Workshop in Manzanillo and Mazatlán. Since 2009, ISSF Skippers’ Workshops have provided an opportunity for ISSF-sponsored scientists and subject-matter experts, to share best practices and the latest science on tuna with fishers in every port. Together, scientists, subject-matter experts and fishers exchange knowledge that both informs ISSF’s research priorities as they continue to identify and advance sustainable fishing practices and advances the field of tuna sustainability.

The Mexico workshops were led by Dr. Jefferson Murua and Dr. Martín Hall, two leading fisheries scientists and experts on bycatch mitigation best practices. They explained the history of dolphin populations in the Eastern Tropical Pacific and reviewed current sustainable fishing methods aimed at protecting marine mammals. They highlighted the benefits of the ongoing education of crewmembers, the implementation of an onboard observer program, the utilization of the backdown procedure and, where necessary, the practice of hand-releasing marine mammals from fishing nets. They emphasized that fishers in the Eastern Tropical Pacific are very effective at protecting marine mammals.

Participants in the workshop came away with critical knowledge of improvements in fishing methods and gear, as well as the latest science, both critical for the continued sustainability of the fishery. The Pacific Alliance for Sustainable Tuna is pleased to report that member companies were well represented among the 160 skippers and crew members present – one of the best attended workshops to date – with Pesca Azteca and Camatún attending the session in Mazatlán and Grupomar participating in the one in Manzanillo.

Members of the Pacific Alliance for Sustainable Tuna attend the ISSF’s Skippers’ Workshops as part of our continuous efforts to educate and train our skippers and crew members. As an organization that is focused on science and best practices to guide our operations, we believe that collaborative workshops like ISSF’s Skippers’ Workshops are critical to the advancement and sustainability of fishing. Together with scientists and subject-matter experts, we will continue to jointly improve fishing methods and evolve sustainable fishing practice for the long-term health of marine environments.