The International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF), the non-profit organisation that is committed to developing and supporting responsible one-by-one tuna fisheries and supply chains, is delighted to announce that Julie Thomas has been appointed as it’s St Helena Project Manager with immediate effect.
In this newly created position, Thomas will work to manage on the ground activities in support of a new initiative launched between IPNLF, the St Helena Government, St Helena Fisheries Corporation and supported by local fishermen and the Ocean’s 5 Foundation, to establish the world’s first one-by-one only tuna fishing zone.
The St Helena tuna fishery has traditionally been a pole-and-line fishery in both the inshore and offshore waters. Through this project, IPNLF will work with the local government to ensure polices are adopted and implemented that ban all destructive fishing gears; enhance management; and strengthen monitoring, control, and surveillance (MCS) to prevent illegal fishing within St Helena’s 172,439 square miles maritime zone.
With the opening of its airport expected by the end of the year, St Helena Island is undergoing monumental change, in preparation for the international interest the airport is expected to bring. This collaborative project supports two of the island’s identified national goals: to have a vibrant economy providing opportunities for all to participate and for the environment to be effectively managed.
Thomas brings over 10 years’ of knowledge and experience working in the St Helena commercial fishing industry as an executive committee member of the St Helena Commercial Fisherman’s Association (SHCFA) and also as a member of the St Helena Fisheries Corporation (SHFC) Board, representing the fishermen and the industry.
Julie Thomas, IPNLF Project Manager, St Helena, says, “This opportunity will enable me to be a part of the development and enhancement of our one-by-one fishery, of which we are extremely proud. It will also open the door to networking and marketing opportunities, which is vital in providing us with the necessary skills and expertise to document, protect and promote our island’s marine sector, with a view of exploring new and improved markets for our product so that our fishery can become lucrative but remain sustainable.”
Adam Baske, IPNLF Director, Policy & Advocacy, says, “We are delighted to have Julie join our international team, strengthening our on the ground presence in St Helena. Julie’s knowledge and experience will be a tremendous asset to the progress of our project establishing the world’s first one-by-one only tuna fishing zone.”