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International Pole & Line Foundation’s first hands-on student expedition between MSC certified pole-and-line fisheries considered a great success

Two students from the Fishermen’s Community and Training Centre in the Maldives have returned from their time spent fishing in the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified North Pacific albacore tuna fishery, in association with the International Pole & Line Foundation.
Aspiring fishers Moosa Shahudan and Yaman Abdulla on a North American albacore tuna fishing vessel. © Millie G

The first International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF) Voyage of Discovery – an initiative designed to bring fishers from sustainable pole-and-line tuna fisheries together – has successfully concluded. The primary expedition brought two student fishers from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified Maldives pole-and-line skipjack tuna fishery to the MSC certified North Pacific albacore tuna fishery to spend a month aboard the F/V Royal Dawn, a commercial pole-and-line albacore vessel and member of the American Albacore Fishing Association (AAFA).

The two aspiring pole-and-line fishers, Moosa Shahudhan and Abdulla Yaman, are currently enrolled in the new Fishermen’s Community and Training Centre (FCTC) in the Maldives. Their time aboard the F/V Royal Dawn off the coast of Washington state allowed Moosa & Yaman to experience the US pole-and-line fishery methods of monitoring sustainable fisheries, the use of radar and sonar technologies, and baitfish management, as well as hands-on experiences of catching albacore. Student Yaman commented, “We are really very proud to be the first fishermen from the Maldives who are experiencing albacore fishing through the IPNLF exchange initiative.”

Despite being more than 8,000 miles apart, the two fisheries share a very strong commitment to responsible management. Both the North Pacific albacore tuna fishery in North America and the Maldives pole-and-line skipjack tuna fishery are MSC certified, with the North Pacific albacore tuna fishery producing the first tuna to bear the MSC ecolabel.

Dan Averill, MSC fisheries outreach manager, Americas, said, “The opportunity for fishermen from different MSC certified fisheries to work together and learn from each other does not come up often, and we support the efforts of International Pole & Line Foundation for facilitating this exchange.”

“I am so pleased that the first IPNLF voyage has been a success. We endeavour to explore further options for cross-geographical, cross-generational learning opportunities that strengthen relationships between the responsible pole-and-line fisheries we work with,” said John Burton.

Returning to the FCTC has allowed Moosa and Yaman to share this knowledge with their peers and other fishers, hopefully ensuring a trickle-through of information gleaned from the exchange.  “The invaluable experience and lessons learned by the Maldivian fishermen are of great importance to the other fishers of the Maldives,” commented Abdulla Shakir of the Maldives Fishermen’s Association.

Continuing on the success of the first leg of the IPNLF voyage, Jack Webster, a fisher from the MSC certified US pole-and-line caught North Pacific albacore tuna fishery, will travel to Indonesia and the Maldives in early 2015.

Notes to Editors

ABOUT IPNLF

The International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF) works to help develop sustainable and equitable pole and line fisheries and to increase the market share of sustainably and equitably caught pole and line tuna.

IPNLF, which was launched in November 2011, is officially registered in the UK and has branch offices in the Maldives and Indonesia.

IPNLF is a hub for likeminded people and commercial operations that want to support the sustainable and equitable development of pole and line tuna. Membership is open to all organisations involved in the pole and line tuna supply chain, from individual fisheries to communities and markets.

The IPNLF Voyage has been chronicled through a series of blogs, which can be found here: http://ipnlf.org/category/blog/ipnlfvoyage/ Quotes from the students can be found in these blogs, and may be used upon confirmation from Elizabeth Huxley-Jones.

A press release announcing the voyage can be found here: http://www.msc.org/get-certified/news/newsitem/partner-release-trading-places-hands-on-student-expedition-brings-msc-certified-tuna-fisheries-closer-together

 

About The Marine Stewardship Council

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organization set up to help transform the seafood market to a sustainable basis. In total, more than 340 fisheries are engaged in the MSC program with 242 certified, 101 under full assessment and 40 to 50 in pre-assessment. This represents over 10 per cent of the annual global harvest of wild capture fisheries. Worldwide, more than 25,000 seafood products, which can be traced back to the certified sustainable fisheries, bear the MSC ecolabel. For more information on the work of the MSC, please visit www.msc.org or follow us on Twitter (@MSCecolabel) and Facebook (Facebook.com/MSCecolabel).

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