In 2009, Bumble Bee became a proud founder of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF). ISSF is a global partnership among scientists, tuna processors representing more than 75% of the world’s shelf stable tuna production. ISSF is comprised of a unique combination of industry, science, environmental and community interests and is committed to driving positive change in tuna fisheries through direct action of its participants.
ISSF mission: Undertake science-based initiatives for the long-term sustainability of tuna stocks, reduction of by-catch and promotion of ecosystem health. The strategy and focus of the ISSF addresses head-on the major sustainability challenges facing the global fishery through applied science, advocacy and direct action.
Since its 2009 inception, ISSF and its participants have committed to several actions aimed at ensuring long term sustainability of tuna including: agreement to traceability standards from capture to plate; not sourcing tuna caught using large scale drift nets or from IUU fishing; sourcing from boats with unique vessel identifiers; funding and supporting a multitude of sea turtle conservation projects; and funding at-sea research programs to mitigate bycatch of sharks and other animals in purse seine fishing. The ISSF commitments are science-based conservation resolutions and recommendations for fishers and vessel owners, and they are supported by the purchasing policies of the ISSF member companies. Click here for a full list and description of conservation commitments.
For calendar year 2022 our tuna purchases from various categories are shown in the tables below. The percentages are for skipjack, yellowfin and albacore combined with percentages converted to round ton equivalents. Bumble Bee intends to increase the percentage of fish purchased from MSC certified fisheries, fish in Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs), and from ISSF participating companies over time.
|Category||Tuna Purchases % of Round Ton Equivalents|
|MSC Certified Fisheries||56%|
|Comprehensive FIPs on Fisheryprogress.org Grade A-C or in Initial Listing||33%|
|Comprehensive FIPs on Fisheryprogress.org Grade D-E||0%|
|Fisheries in MSC Full Assessment||4%|
|None of the Above||7%|
|Category||Tuna Purchases % of Round Ton Equivalents|
|ISSF Participating Companies||49%|
|ISSF Data Check Companies||0%|
|Direct from Vessels||0%|
|None of the Above||51%|
Note that although not all our tuna purchases came from ISSF Participating companies, we ensure all the tuna we do purchase does meet ISSF Conservation Measures and Commitments as verified annually via third party audits. These audits are conducted by MRAG-Americas and evaluate company performance in meeting ISSF resolutions in several critical areas. We believe that our audit results are representative of our concerted efforts to ensure all our tuna products reaching the market comply with ISSF commitments. We are proud of our results, and we will continue to drive to maintain these standards. Click here to view our 2021 ISSF Audit Report.
The most recent advice from the IOTC Scientific Committee recommended a reduction in yellowfin catches from the Indian Ocean to help restore the stocks to healthy levels. In accordance with ISSF Conservation Measure 1.3 IOTC Yellowfin Tuna Rebuilding, we reduced annual sourcing of Indian Ocean origin yellowfin by 11% calculated with respect to the company’s average annual level of Indian Ocean yellowfin purchases from 2017-2019.
Increasing Sourcing of Tuna Caught by Vessels on the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) Proactive Vessel Register (PVR)
Bumble Bee views the ISSF PVR as an effective, credible, and verifiable way to identify those fishing vessels that are taking meaningful sustainability efforts to improve responsible practices in tuna fishing and that are in compliance with ISSF Multi-Annual Commitments.
All purchases from large scale purse seiner trips since January 1, 2016, come from vessels on the PVR.
In 2022, approximately 50% of our longline albacore purchases came from vessels listed on the ISSF PVR. We have, and will continue to play, a supportive role in increasing PVR participation among longline vessels. We endeavor to increase our percentage of purchases from longliners on the PVR by expanding FIPs, as appropriate and the corresponding PVR participation, and through selective procurement practices.
For more information about ISSF and their proactive initiatives, please visit www.iss-foundation.org.
Shark Finning Policy
Bumble Bee is against the practice of shark finning (retaining shark fins and discarding the remaining carcasses while at sea) in global fisheries. The practice is inconsistent with our company values, is wasteful and is in conflict with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, as well as with numerous other resolutions of marine organizations calling for minimizing waste and discards incidental to fishing operations.
Our policy is that no tuna we source should come from companies that do not have a policy prohibiting the practice of shark finning. We also require any sharks that are landed to have their fins naturally attached. Vessels that have been found to have engaged in shark finning and/or have landed shark fins unattached to the body by a cognizant national authority are excluded from our supply chain for two years following the date of the most recent finding.