Solutions for a sustainable tuna industry | WWF

Solutions for a sustainable tuna industry

At the heart of our approach to transform the tuna trade is to forge partnerships with pro-active, leading seafood companies.

This is critical to achieve the long-term viability of the seafood supply chain.
We strive not only to help eradicate illegally caught fish from the market but also increase the value of responsible companies and ensure the long-term availability of fish products.

We collaborate with partners in more than 40 countries to improve regional and global management, and push market demand for sustainable seafood as through supporting sea food producers and retailers to strive towards sustainable fishing and responsible procurement practices.

The role of the MSC

As part of this effort, we are working to advance the management of specific tuna fisheries towards Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, a global scheme that recognises sustainably caught seafood, through Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) which use a structured approach to improve a fishery up to the MSC standard. We also help assess supply chain companies (retailers and buyers) with their procurement policy.   

MSC certification requires members to develop fish stock rebuilding plans and report on bycatch. The benefits include potential for higher prices through price premiums, access to new markets and independent third-party confirmation of good management.

Our support includes:
  • working with the fishing sector, governments, and other NGOs to identify fisheries that could seek MSC certification based on their sustainability and performance
  • contributing technically to the assessment and stakeholder processes of fisheries seeking MSC certification, and pushing for further improvements to ecosystem impacts
  • assisting the MSC in developing relationships with other conservation organizations and fisheries stakeholders in all key markets and regions. promoting the uptake of MSC certified seafood with companies
Certified fisheries that WWF supports include:


Examples of some companies WWF is working with include Wal-Mart, Sodexo, Sainsbury's, Carrefour, Coles and John West.

Other private sector fisheries partners we are the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) or the Common Fisheries Reform Alliance (NGOs and European seafood processors, retailers, consumer co-operatives and chefs) working together to ask for solutions to the crisis of overfishing in Europe.

WWF Targets

2020: 75% of tuna catches from stocks of all seven principle market tuna species (skipjack, yellowfin, bigeye, albacore, Atlantic bluefin, Pacific bluefin and southern bluefin tuna) in WWF´s Priority Places are qualified for certification in accordance with MSC standards.


21% of global tuna caught sustainably and MSC certified (August 2016)21% of global tuna caught sustainably and MSC certified (August 2016)
Marine Stewardship Council  
	© WWF
Marine Stewardship Council


A number of credible, third-party certification schemes, such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) can help companies prevent environmental degradation and drive the key industries toward better and more responsible performance. Find out more ►


FIPs are initiatives that use the power of private sector and markets to incentivise positive changes towards sustainability in the fishery. They can open new market opportunities and help reduce the impact of fishing on our seas and oceans. Find out more ►

Be part of the solution

► Fish traders, processors, and retailers can stimulate more transparency in fisheries by selectively buying seafood products from fisheries with low or no bycatch, and that have been certified according to the standards of the MSC.

Consumers can search for MSC-certified products to find seafood caught and/or processed by companies that have taken steps to reduce their negative impacts on the marine environment.

Find out more about what you can do

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