Indonesia tuna fishery makes move to sustainability

The International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF) is praising the efforts of the Indonesian fishing industry and government commitment to open a sustainable pole-and-line and hand-line tuna fishery.

While pole-and-line fishing is widely practiced in the country, in general the country’s fishing industry does not distinguish between pole-and-line and purse seine tuna.  As a result, it is believed a large proportion of pole-and-line and hand-line caught tuna ends up being sold as purse seine.

At the country’s recent tuna business forum, the commercial fishing and processing sectors as well as international tuna brands, retailers, government officials and other stakeholders agreed that the sustainable development of the fishery should be prioritized.

At the forum, representatives from the Indonesian ministries said they intend to initiate a number of projects that will support disadvantaged coastal communities that depend on the tuna fishery.  

In line with this move, the Indonesian government will look to align itself closer to the regional fisheries management organization in the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).  The country is currently a co-operating non-member in the WCPFC and hopes to become a full member by the end of this year.

There is a genuine, deep-rooted desire in Indonesia to move forward with sustainability issues, which was demonstrated by the large number of delegates at the forum and the discussions that took place,” said John Burton, IPNLF co-founder. “There was significant representation from industry, international buyers and NGOs and we were all delighted to learn from the Indonesian ministries that the government wants to ensure the pole-and-line and hand-line fishery is sustainably managed and carefully progressed in the future. There is no doubt this approach will be of invaluable long-term benefit to many of the country’s disadvantaged coastal communities.”


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