The case for industry transparency in supporting sustainable tuna fisheries

Koehler H (2020) The case for industry transparency in supporting sustainable tuna fisheries. Marine Policy 104087.

Among the tuna fishing industry, both processing and harvesting sectors, there are leaders that are making strides to be more transparent about actions they are taking to meet their public sustainability commitments. This article describes, as an example, the transparency initiatives of tuna processing companies that participate in the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) and how their implementation of these public tuna sustainability and best-practices commitments are verified, as well as provides some examples of vessel-level transparency efforts. The presented examples demonstrate that a high degree of transparency and accountability is possible for industry and provide instructive cases of environmental performance gains and management and monitoring successes for tuna specifically. From these examples, three key elements are identified as essential to supporting credible transparency initiatives: (1) clear and well-defined public commitments; (2) regular progress reporting against those commitments; and (3) audits to verify progress. This article argues these three elements should be the minimum expectations of industry to ensure transparency and accountability of public commitments to sustainability.