IPNLF unveils new pole-and-line data for Indonesia's tuna sector

Published on
August 31, 2015

The International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF) has determined that Indonesia’s pole-and-line tuna catch remains within the healthy range.

According to new research conducted by IPNLF trustee Tony Lewis at the behest of the foundation, Indonesia’s pole-and-line tuna catch was up over 100,000 metric tons (MT) last year, with skipjack, yellowfin and bigeye tuna accounting for 80 percent of that total. Approximately 113,678 MT of tuna was fished by way of pole-and-line in 2014, Lewis’ report ultimately found. And although production from artisanal tuna fisheries could very well be overestimated, it seems that little of this type of catch – typically amassed by a large number of small fishing units – has entered into commercial production supply chains.

“While Indonesia’s reported pole-and-line catch appears to have fluctuated in recent years, it has certainly not fallen by the drastic levels that have been suggested in a few recent reports and is in no way an indication of declining stocks or the fishery’s potential. In addition to the local consumption findings, it is important to note that the reduction in the pole-and-line landings have coincided with the rapid growth of the purse seine catch,” said Andrew Harvey, Indonesia Country Director for the IPNLF, of the findings.

Despite Indonesia’s focus over the past ten years on industrializing its fishing sector, the progressive attitude of the region’s Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) has also enabled the promotion and expansion of small-scale fisheries as well, Harvey said.

“We fully expect this to bear significant fruit over a realistic timescale, both commercially and for the wellbeing of coastal communities. The IPNLF is therefore investing heavily in assisting MMAF to improve fisheries governance in Indonesia, such as strengthening management systems, effort controls and enforcement strategies. These are steps that in the long term will benefit not just the pole-and-line and handline sectors, but all tuna fisheries in Indonesia,” Harvey added.

Among some of the developments IPNLF has had a hand in during its initial years being active in Indonesia are:

  • The formation of AP2HI, which represents the interests of the pole-and-line and handline sectors and is widely regarded as the most active fisheries association in Indonesia;
  • A reversal of governance policy to favor small-scale rather than industrialized fishing, with a focus on associated environmental and social benefits;
  • Bringing several international players, including buyers, to Indonesia and encouraging them to foster much closer contact with local producers;
  • Growing the market interest and demand for Indonesia’s pole-and-line and handline products; and
  • Facilitating a strong commitment from the government to develop tuna harvest strategies that consider and reflect the social, economic and ecological benefits of various tuna catching methods.

Specific catch statistics can be viewed in the graphic below. (Data courtesy of the DGCF Annual Catch Estimates; graph courtesy of the IPNLF).


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