|Scientists and Fisherman Embrace Sustainability|
|Wednesday, 11 May 2011 13:26|
The group, whose vessel set off from Manta, Ecuador, are launching the next phase of a globally coordinated project to promote techniques to help reduce the environmental impact of tuna fishing.
The researchers and fisherman are hoping to rectify a problem with large aquatic life — often sharks and turtles — being caught by floating objects used to catch tuna. The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) was behind the call for a reduction in unintended catch and has spent more than a year facilitating the planning of a worldwide initiative involving research, fisher education and development of new techniques and uses for existing technology.
"The problem and its scope have been identified," said Susan Jackson, president of ISSF. "Now it's time to get on the water and make significant improvements alongside industry that help them remain viable without jeopardizing the world's tuna resources and the ocean's complex marine ecosystem."
The maiden cruise is a collaborative effort between the ISSF and Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission. The vessel will carry a workboat to be used to conduct experiments and identify solutions.
"This cruise will help our team of scientists and collaborators improve the educational workshops already being conducted with fishing crews around the world," said Dr. Victor Restrepo, chair of the ISSF Scientific Advisory Committee. "As scientists identify new solutions, we will incorporate the findings into workshops so skippers and vessel captains can provide real-time feedback."