The International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF), the only non-profit association that is solely committed to promoting responsible one-by-one tuna fisheries and supply chains, is strengthening its management team with three key appointments. The move will further drive the Foundation’s social sustainability manifesto which states that investing in the one-by-one tuna supply chain must be done in tandem with delivering social benefits to the coastal communities who are involved in responsible pole-and-line, handline and troll fisheries.
Debbie Wirtjes-Lewis comes onboard as Communications and Marketing Director and will be based in Amsterdam. Debbie brings a wealth of invaluable experience and fresh ideas, gained from working in similar roles with non-profit and private sector organisations. She will help nurture new partnerships and lead IPNLF’s communications and marketing strategy.
Also joining the team is Roy Bealey, who takes up the position of Fisheries Director. Roy joins IPNLF from a fisheries and value chain improvement consultancy role with the FAO. He has also worked closely with a number of small-scale fisheries alongside a multitude of stakeholders, including governments, inter-governmental agencies, industry members and fishers. Roy will be based in the United Kingdom.
Additionally, IPNLF has created the new position of Socio Economic Manager, responsible for driving the Foundation’s work on traceability, transparency and verification of supply chains. This role has been taken up by IPNLF staffer Zacari Edwards who now leads evidence-based projects relating to the social and economic benefits of one-by-one tuna fisheries. Zac is based in IPNLF’s London office.
Some of the key areas that the new senior team will focus on include expansion of the geographic scope of IPNLF’s engagement with one-by-one tuna fisheries, improved traceability and transparency in these fisheries, and greater engagement on the technical and economic aspects of the international seafood trade. These initiatives will be driven via platforms such as the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) – a subsidiary body of the FAO Council, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) where IPNLF recently obtained observer status. IPNLF will also continue to work with its partners to raise awareness for the need for equity in small-scale fisheries by using the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework, and instruments such as the FAO’s Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries to achieve this.
Commenting on the appointments, Martin Purves, Managing Director of IPNLF, says, “Being able to add such high-calibre professionals to the IPNLF organisation is testimony to the progress of our crucial work. Debbie, Roy and Zac bring special skill sets and invaluable knowledge to our international team. They will be tremendous assets as we work to increase the recognition and support for coastal tuna fisheries that earn their living by one-by-one fishing.”