Dr Mohamed Shainee, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture for the Maldives, was today (5th October 2015) presented with the inaugural International Pole & Line Foundation Award that recognises Inspiration and Collaboration in the pole-and-line and handline sector.
The new awards identify IPNLF partners who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the development and promotion of sustainable one-by-one fisheries, including those people and organisations that endeavour to go beyond their own best practice to inspire and support the advancement of pole-and-line and handline fisheries globally.
John Burton, Chairman of IPNLF, said, “The award given to Dr Mohamed Shainee today recognises the Ministry’s inspirational leadership in tuna sustainability, in particular its collaborative commitments to the international development of one-by-one tuna fisheries. Since his inauguration, the Minister has been influential in the progression of one-by-one fishery projects in the Maldives, such as the development of the first nationally recognised fishers’ curriculum this year. Alongside the Ministry, he also gave invaluable support to the recent Marine Stewardship Council accreditation of the yellowfin pole-and-line fishery; a process that is proving instrumental in ensuring international markets recognise the Maldivian fishery for its responsible practices.”
The Ministry has also been influential in encouraging fishery improvements beyond Maldives own borders, in particular encouraging the Indonesian tuna Fishery Improvement Project (FIP). At the annual International Coastal Tuna Business Forum in Bali, 26-27 May 2015, the Minister assured Indonesia that its FIP had the full support of the Maldives as it aims towards achieving its own MSC certification, and suggested the two countries that together account for around 30 percent of the tuna caught in the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), share learning across Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) to progress the pole-and-line and handline sector internationally.
Accepting the award, Minister Shainee said, “I am extremely honoured to accept the International Pole & Line Foundation’s first Award, but my contribution to the sustainable fisheries industry in the Maldives is only possible because of the traditional, sustainable fishing methods that our fishermen have chosen and the government’s policy on fisheries. Ensuring the Maldives has sustainable and equitable fisheries has long been one of our government’s biggest priorities, and today, the ‘no net’ and ‘caught one-by-one’ fisheries policies of the Maldives are widely regarded as the cleanest and greenest in the world. We have successfully built our fisheries industry on three pillars of sustainability: environmental, economic and social; as such, we believe it is vital we collaborate and share our experiences with others to help guide the long-term viability of one-by-one fisheries everywhere.”
The IPNLF Award was presented to the Minister at a special reception ahead of the 3rd meeting of the IPNLF Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC), 6-8 October in Bangkok. The STAC’s main function is to advise the IPNLF on the formulation of its policies with the primary mission of advancing the global supply of sustainably-caught pole-and-line and handline tuna. It helps identify emerging issues in fisheries where IPNLF can provide meaningful engagement and research. STAC membership is by invitation of the IPNLF trustees, and members are typically well-known, experienced professionals and academics in fishery research, development and management.