Pole-and-line tuna foundation formed
A new organization has been launched in the United Kingdom to ensure that growing demand for pole-and-line caught tuna can be met without compromising the sustainability of the fisheries.
At the same time, the not-for-profit International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF) will provide support for fishing communities that are heavily reliant upon the species.
IPNLF was founded to help these fisheries increase their market share. Despite being regarded as the most sustainable method of catching tuna, most pole-and-line fisheries are small scale and are increasingly finding it difficult to survive in an industry dominated by industrial fishing. Fishermen have seen their local resources diminish and their livelihoods put under immense pressure in recent years.
IPNLF believes that these fisheries can be rehabilitated back to health and entire fishing communities strengthened by increasing the market potential of their tuna caught using the traditional pole-and-line method. The foundation’s view is that this requires minor capital investment and would provide much-needed employment opportunities, as pole-and-line fishing is more labor-intensive than large-scale industrial fishing.
The foundation will start its work in the Maldives and Indonesia. IPNLF has already opened an office in the Maldives and will open one in Indonesia next year. The work will then expand to Brazil, Ghana, Japan, Mexico, Mozambique, Philippines, Senegal, India, the United States, southern Europe and small island states in the Pacific region.
The foundation expects demand for pole-and-line tuna will continue to grow and will come mainly from the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria and the Nordic countries. Demand in also on the rise in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and North America, where retailers are committing to switching seafood procurement to more sustainable alternatives.
“Until now there hasn’t been an institution to ensure good coordination; there has also been no one improving bait fishery management, safety at sea, fuel efficiency and so on,” said Andrew Bassford, co-founder. “The IPNLF will fill this much needed void. We will bridge the gap between demand and supply and all revenue generated will directly contribute to research and capacity building.”