Tuna pole-and-line fisheries. (Photo: IPNLF)
IPNLF calls for 'careful support' of pole and line tuna fisheries
Friday, May 25, 2012, 00:30 (GMT + 9)
Improvements must be made to traditional pole-and-line fishing fisheries practices to ensure the fast-growing demand for this kind of tuna can be met sustainably, warned founding member of the International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF) Dr Shiham Adam.
Also the Director General of the Marine Research Centre in the Maldives, Adam spoke at the INFOFISH World Tuna and Trade Conference in Bangkok this week. He highlighted that pole-and-line tuna fishing is vital to many disadvantaged rural areas because it alleviates poverty within fishing communities.
In the Maldives, 30,000 people -- a large percentage of the working population -- are employed by the tuna industry. The average monthly income is about USD 900 compared to the country’s minimum wage of around USD 250, he said.
|Fresh tuna catch. (Photo: IPNLF)
As the global tuna industry is going through a period of rapid transformation, Adam said, every care must be taken to make sure these fisheries become more efficient and productive, Adam commented.
“Our Mission is to improve the standard of living for socially and economically disadvantaged fishing communities around the world. We aim to use the market as a trigger, to promote and foster the benefits of sustainably sourced pole-and-line tuna,” he stated.
“We will channel our resources to support pole-and-line fisheries to get market access, improve post harvest and quality control, and eventually increase environmental performance of these fisheries so that they may qualify to be sustainably and environmentally certified,” Adam continued.
While the livelihood of many pole-and-line fishers is currently in jeopardy, IPNLF has identified that end markets can help, so the Foundation is encouraging buyers to put into practice long-term contracts, facilitate capacity building, knowledge and business literacy transfer.
As far as commitments, the Foundation vows to “green” fishery activities by finding ways to improve fuel use intensity and minimising waste. Further, IPNLF will run more research into livebait fisheries and collaborate with governments and communities to identify where to intervene, for example by supporting mariculture pilot projects and conducting trials on alternative sources of bait, he said.
|Tuna fishing. (Photo: IPNLF)
At the conference, Adam promised that the Foundation will continue to work with academia, research facilities and Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) to help maximise, adapt and use the most up-to-date scientific advice.
Lastly, he confirmed that a pole-and-line school is being set up in the Maldives to offer training and insight into post-harvest handling and quality controls so as to maximise fishers’ returns.
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