Welcome to the latest edition of the International Pole & Line Foundation's newsletter: updates from the Indian Ocean! Learn about recent celebrations in the Maldives, get the latest on the Indonesian FIP, and find out about our involvement in the IOTC meetings.
Education & Celebration in the Maldives
Maldivians celebrate their long-standing fishing traditions annually on national Fishermen’s Day. This year, the day was marked, along with the Farmers’ Day, on the 19th November with follow up activities on the 20th and 21st. This year’s celebrations were particularly special, with activities commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Maldives’ independence.
At the official ceremony IPNLF's Coordinator in the Maldives, Mohammed Muththalib, received an award on behalf of IPNLF, in recognition of the work IPNLF has been doing with pole-and-line and handline fisheries.
After the official ceremony IPNLF staff Mohammed Muththalib and Ibrahim Nadheeh were on hand at the FishAgri Expo, sharing information about the IPNLF's education schemes - including the National Skipper Curriculum and the Training of Trainers scheme - on the IPNLF stall. Learn more about these celebrations here.
Advancing Baitfish Management
To support a national baitfish management plan under the Indonesian tuna Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP), IPNLF intern Daphne de Groot travelled to Indonesia from Wageningen University, Netherlands, to help set up an initial baitfish monitoring programme.
After months of research, observational trips, and interviews with fishermen, Daphne had compiled information to tailor the current online database system to suit fisher's needs, allowing them to easily upload data about their baitfish catch and usage. She also developed a range of manuals to instruct fishers on how to use the online system. Learn more about Daphne's hard work in Indonesia.
Harvest Control Rule meetings:
The most recent workshop to develop Harvest Strategies and Harvest Control Rules for Indonesian tuna fisheries took place in Bali, from 19th-20th November. The workshop gathered a range of key stakeholders together; among the key speakers was Dr. Toni Ruchiat, Director of Fisheries (MMAF), and Craig Proctor, member of the IPNLFSTAC. Getting together to discuss the most up to date scientific evidence and potential strategy plans is a key step in developing long-term, effective harvest strategies.
Traceability & Transparency
Earlier in the year, we worked with our partners to launch a trial of the ProActive Vessel Registration (PVR) for one-by-one tuna fishing vessels in Indonesia. The PVR is an online, voluntary register of fishing vessel owners – prior to this the PVR has mainly dealt with large-scale purse-seine vessels. We are pleased to report great progress with the scheme!
Since the first one-by-one vessel was officially awarded the PVR plaque in August 2015, a further 12 vessels have been registered, with many more under review and audit. It is great to see tangible progress on this initiative, which is an important step towards improving supply chain traceability and transparency.
Advancing Science & Policy in the Indian Ocean
IPNLF recently travelled to Bali for the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) Scientific Committee meeting. This annual gathering brings together scientists from coastal countries and distant water fishing fleets active in the Indian Ocean to discuss the latest fisheries science and to develop advice for policymakers.
The committee identified a number of critical data gaps, (including fishing catch/effort data and the status of sharks) and agreed on recommendations for policymakers (such as the development of harvest strategies for key tuna stocks) to act on at the next IOTC Commission meeting. To learn more see our update.