Welcome to the latest edition of the International Pole & Line Foundation's newsletter, where we take a look at three projects - two ongoing in Maldives and Indonesia, and one scoping trip to Kenya!
Fisheries Science in Action!
One of IPNLF's ongoing key priorities has been onboard fisheries science research in the Marine Stewardship Council certified Maldivian pole-and-line skipjack and yellowfin tuna fisheries. Data is being collected on bycatch, bait use, fuel use and the tuna caught on these trips.
Earlier this year, Kelsey Miller, IPNLF's Fisheries Science Research Officer, and her research assistants were able to shoot some amazing footage of pole-and-line fishing in action.
This short film showcases one of Kelsey's research trips in Thinadoo, the capital of Gaafu Dhaalu in the Upper South Province, aboard the largest pole-and-line fishing vessel in the country, the Kalhirava. On this research trip in Thinadhoo, the average size of landed skipjack was greater than size at maturity - skipjack reach maturity between 40-45cm - and there was zero bycatch - good news for Maldivian marine life!
The data collected through these research trips helps advise baitfish and fuel use recommendations, and provides invaluable information to the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and the Maldives' Marine Research Centre, increasing understanding of skipjack and yellowfin stocks and ultimately acting as the scientific basis for management decisions. IPNLF aims to share the results through reports in the future.
A pole-and-line future for Kenya? In support of Mombasa Fishery Department's coastal fishery development project, IPNLF plunged into a new ocean of opportunity this April, scoping out potential for a sustainable pole-and-line skipjack fishery to thrive in the Lamu Archipelago, Kenya.
IPNLF-Maldives Coordinator, Mohamed Muththalib, was accompanied on his exploratory trip to Kenya by Mr. Hussain Muthalib, Captain of Rankuri Dhoni, Gaafu Alifu, Maldives, on a nine-day trip around the small town on the Island of Lamu. Lamu was chosen as the pilot site to carry out the initial pole-and-line skipjack tuna fishing trials, with the hopes that, if successful, the program could expand into other Kenyan counties. The main objective of the trip was to help scope the viability of a responsible skipjack pole-and-line fishery and ways in which IPNLF might support its development. You can read more about their trip on our website here!
Pro-Active Vessel Registration in Indonesia's small-scale tuna fisheries
Established by the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), the PVR is an online, voluntary registry of fishing vessel owners – prior to this new initiative the PVR has mainly dealt with large-scale purse-seine vessels. Registration on the PVR gives vessels the opportunity to exhibit their level of commitment towards sustainability to the rest of the supply chain, encouraging responsible fishing and improving traceability, which should ultimately benefit fishers’ economic wellbeing.