Promoting pole-and-line tuna a struggle
A new technical resource paper published by the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) addresses the challenge of promoting pole and line-caught tuna.
Titled “The Promotion of Pole-and-Line Tuna Fishing in the Pacific Islands: Emerging Issues and Lessons Learned,” the paper listed the major pole-and-line tuna producers as Japan at about 125,000 metric tons of skipjack and yellowfin annually, Indonesia at 100,000 metric tons and the Maldives at 100,000 metric tons. The world’s production is about 400,000 metric tons annually, most of which is for domestic consumption. There are between 100,000 and 150,000 metric tons of pole-and-line skipjack and yellowfin on the international market.
Information from a company in the Solomon Islands shows high production costs and low productivity of pole-and-line fishing compared to purse seining. Historical information from pole-and-line fishing in Papua New Guinea shows that the real price of tuna today is less than half the price of what it was during the height of the fishery 30 years ago.
According to the paper, pole-and-line development or revitalization in the region is a very difficult task and certainly not as easy as suggested in some NGO promotional literature. Experience from other regions seems to indicate that the Pacific Islands is not the only region struggling to succeed in promotion of pole-and-line tuna.