History of the IFF Series

The International Fishers Forum (IFF) series has been convened since 2000, bringing together a diverse group of fishers and representatives from other stakeholder groups with an interest in the environmental and socioeconomic sustainability of pelagic marine capture fisheries, mitigating the bycatch of sensitive species groups, the conservation of commercially important pelagic fish stocks, and the protection of marine biodiversity. 

The breadth of each forum was expanded to address new and timely conservation and management issues.  The first forum, held in 2000, focused on mitigating interactions between demersal and pelagic longline fisheries and seabirds. 

IFF2, convened in Hawaii in 2002, had an expanded focus on interactions between longline fisheries and sea turtles as well as seabirds. 

In 2005, IFF3 was convened in Japan jointly with the International Tuna Fishers Conference on Responsible Fisheries. In addition to the incidental bycatch of sea turtles and seabirds in longline fisheries the IFF3 theme had expanded to include sustainable tuna and shark fisheries; fishing capacity; production; marketing; consumption monitoring; illegal, unregulated and unreported fisheries, cetacean depredation, , and the employment of market-based mechanisms, including eco-labeling, to influence marine capture fisheries’ practices and management. 

IFF4 was held in Costa Rica in 2007 with an expanded scope that included shark and cetacean interactions with longline fisheries, and also included the state of knowledge for mitigating problematic bycatch in artisanal gillnet fisheries.  The information exchange brought about through the IFF series has lead to a more coordinated response to fisheries conservation and management problems and accelerated progress in mitigating these problems globally.

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