IPNLF: Support small-scale tuna fisheries
By SeafoodSource staff
24 May, 2012
The International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF) is calling for improvements to be made to traditional fishing practices to ensure that the fast-growing demand for pole-and-line tuna can be met without compromising sustainability.
Speaking at the INFOFISH World Tuna Trade Conference & Exhibition in Bangkok, Dr. Shiham Adam, an IPNLF founding member and director general of the Marine Research Centre in the Maldives, emphasized that pole-and-line tuna fishing is vital to many disadvantaged communities, including several in the Maldives, because it generates a fair income and alleviates poverty.
The not-for-profit foundation was formed less than two months ago to provide support for fishing communities that are dependent on tuna fishing.
“There is no such thing as a perfect fishery, but pole-and-line is as good as it gets for tuna. In saying this, the International Pole & Line Foundation recognizes some improvements are necessary to coordinate the supply of this real increase in demand for pole-and-line caught tuna and to avoid issues of over-capacity in the fisheries.
“This is where the foundation comes in,” he continued. “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. 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.
“It’s a sad fact that many pole-and-line fishermen’s livelihoods are now at risk, but the foundation has identified that end markets could act as lifelines by preventing further marginalization of small-scale fishing communities. The IPNLF is therefore encouraging buyers to implement long-term contracts, facilitate capacity building, knowledge and business literacy transfer. The foundation is committed to ‘greening’ fishery activities; such as finding ways to improve fuel use intensity and minimizing waste. We will also conduct further research into understanding the issues with livebait fisheries, and work with governments and communities to identify areas of intervention, including supporting mariculture pilot projects and conducting trials on alternative sources of bait.”
The INFOFISH World Tuna Trade Conference & Exhibition runs through Friday.
24 May, 2012