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ISSF Adds New Board Member; Two Fisheries Experts Appointed to ISSF Environmental Stakeholder Committee

Washington, D.C.

MSC’s Bill Holden Joins ISSF Board; Sara Lewis of FishWise and Dr. Tom Pickerell of Global Tuna Alliance join Environmental Stakeholder Committee

The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) announced today recent appointments to its Board of Directors and Environmental Stakeholder Committee.

ISSF’s Environmental Stakeholder Committee (ESC) elected Bill Holden of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) its Chair. In that role, he also joins the ISSF Board of Directors, replacing long-time Board member Dr. Bill Fox, formerly of WWF-US, who recently retired.  

We're honored to welcome Bill Holden of @MSCecolabel to our Board — and Sara Lewis of @FishWiseOrg & Tom Pickerell of @GlobalTuna to our Environmental Stakeholder Committee. Click To Tweet

“The leadership and expertise displayed by Dr. Bill Fox, both as a member of the ISSF Board and the Environmental Stakeholder Committee, as well as a partner at WWF, has been invaluable,” said ISSF President Susan Jackson. “We are thankful for Bill’s guidance and commitment to ISSF and our collaborative work toward sustainable tuna fisheries and ocean health.” 

In addition, Sara Lewis of FishWise and Dr. Tom Pickerell of the Global Tuna Alliance have joined the ESC.

“It’s always a pleasure to have new experts and advocates join our committees. These additions are serious assets to our conservation initiatives,” Jackson said. “Bill Holden joining the ISSF Board of Directors as Chair of our ESC is notable. It is the result of an enhancement in ISSF governance: the ESC elects its chair and that chairperson is then elevated to an additional leadership role as a member of the ISSF Board. Bill is well suited for this newly expanded role.” 

Jackson added, “Sara Lewis’ devotion to transparency and traceability at FishWise makes her an ideal candidate for the ESC. And we welcome Dr. Tom Pickerell’s scientific guidance and collaboration once again as he returns to the ESC in his new role leading the Global Tuna Alliance.” 

Dr. Bruce Collette, from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), retired from the ESC in January. He had been with the committee since its inception.

“Dr. Collette worked with ISSF on the ESC since the beginning,” Jackson added. “His fisheries expertise made him an invaluable asset to the committee, where his passion for tuna conservation is dearly missed.”

About the New Members of the ISSF Board and ESC

Bill Holden is the Senior Tuna Fisheries Outreach Manager for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), a global fisheries certification and ecolabel program. He began working with the MSC in February 2009 and is based in Sydney, Australia. His work involves outreach in the Pacific and Indian Oceans with a focus on tuna fisheries. Holden has a wealth of experience in fisheries management thanks to more than 20 years as an owner, operator and skipper of snapper and tuna longliners in the Kingdom of Tonga. During that time, he was the President of the Fishing Industry Association of Tonga (FIAT) and a director of the Pacific Islands Tuna Industry Association (PITIA). Mr. Holden graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a B.A. in Political Science and Communications.

Sara Lewis directs the Traceability Division at FishWise, overseeing a team implementing traceability and counter-IUU fishing projects with NGO and seafood industry collaborators from all parts of the supply chain. She also leads FishWise’s work relating to government policies such as the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) and has published peer-reviewed papers on traceability and social responsibility in seafood. Previously, Lewis studied how third-party eco-certification impacts the environmental performance of multinational seafood firms. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and two master’s degrees in environmental studies from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand and the University of California, Santa Cruz. 

Dr. Tom Pickerell is a marine biologist with nearly 20 years’ experience in seafood sustainability. Pickerell is Executive Director of the Global Tuna Alliance, an independent group of retailers and supply-chain companies, working to ensure that tuna ultimately meets the highest standards of environmental performance and social responsibility. Previously, he was the Global Tuna Director for the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), leading SFP’s fresh & frozen and canned tuna programs. He has also worked for Seafish, the UK Seafood Industry Authority; at the Seafood Watch program at Monterey Bay Aquarium; and at the Shellfish Association of Great Britain (SAGB), among other organizations. Pickerell has a degree in Marine Biology, a master’s degree in Analytical Biology, and a Ph.D. in shellfish aquaculture.

About the ISSF Board of Directors & Environmental Stakeholder Committee

The ISSF Board of Directors is a global and diverse group of leaders from non-governmental organizations, marine science, government agencies, and the seafood industry. In addition to fiduciary and governance responsibilities, ISSF Board members advance the mission of the Foundation, including through the adoption of ISSF conservation measures, to which ISSF participating companies commit to conform. 

The ISSF Board members are: 

  • Dr. Transform Aqorau, Pacific Fisheries Expert and former CEO, Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA)
  • John Connelly, President, National Fisheries Institute
  • Dr. Rohan Currey, Chief Science and Standards Officer, Marine Stewardship Council
  • Dr. Giuseppe Di Carlo, Lead Conservationist, WWF-International
  • Javier Garat, Secretary General, Cepesca
  • Bill Holden, Chair, ISSF Environmental Stakeholder Committee and Senior Tuna Fisheries Outreach Manager, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
  • Susan Jackson, President, ISSF
  • Ichiro Nomura, Fisheries Policy Advisor to the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Republic of Indonesia
  • Luciano Pirovano, ISSF Board Chair and Bolton Food Sustainable Development Director
  • Dr. Victor Restrepo, Vice President, Science, ISSF 
  • Dr. Martin Tsamenyi, Professor of Law & Former Director of the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources & Security (ANCORS), University of Wollongong, Australia

The Board receives information from formal and informal partners — environmental stakeholders, marine scientists, fishers, and vessel owners — who share insights from the field. The ESC comprises expert representatives from various conservation and scientific bodies who volunteer to share their expertise. The ESC, as does ISSF’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), provides advice to the ISSF Board of Directors on issues to consider before taking action on specific sustainability efforts, including regarding ISSF conservation measures.

The ESC Board members are: 

  • Sonja Fordham, Shark Advocates International
  • Eric Gilman, The Nature Conservancy
  • Bill Holden, Chair, ISSF Environmental Stakeholder Committee | Senior Tuna Fisheries Outreach Manager, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
  • Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly, Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch
  • Sara Lewis, FishWise
  • Alexia Morgan, Science Lead for Tuna and Large Pelagic Species, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP)
  • Tom Pickerell, Global Tuna Alliance
Post Contact: Charlie Patterson, +1 202-680-8132, [email protected]
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