Organización de Productores de Túnidos y Pesca Fresca de la Isla de Tenerife (Islatuna) has become the latest Member of the International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF), the non-profit association that is committed to developing and supporting responsible one-by-one tuna fisheries and supply chains.
Islatuna was established in 2004 to represent the interests of Canarian tuna and fresh fish producers. The organisation strives to bring better returns to local fishers, increase the market competitiveness of its fishery products, provide a unified and collective voice for its fishers at international policy meetings, and facilitate funding through the European Commission’s POSEICAN-Pesca funding programme which supports fisheries in the Canary Islands.
Over the past 14 years, Islatuna’s membership has grown from 20 to 77 partners, incorporating a total of 81 vessels that are mainly pole-and-line boats, ranging from 12 to 20-plus metres. The organisation also employs 33 staff in order to fulfil its overriding commitments to ensuring the highest quality products and preserving the local marine environment through the support of responsible, artisanal fisheries.
While the Instituto Español de Oceanografía (Spanish Institute of Oceanography) has only been collecting data since 1965, the Canary Islands’ fishermen have been fishing tuna for many generations using one-by-one methods, benefiting from the natural migratory routes of these fish.
Macu da Silva of Islatuna, says, “We sought to join IPNLF because we share the same ideology and interests; to protect the interests of the artisanal tuna fishery that has been catching tuna with one-by-one methods for more than a century. We believe that the partnership between our fishermen and IPNLF will provide many direct benefits as we seek to achieve our respective objectives.”
Islatuna joins IPNLF’s growing network of value chain stakeholders from all over the world that are collectively working to enhance one-by-one tuna fisheries and the value that they deliver to the communities connected to them. Fellow Canary Island organisations, the Lanzarote-based Optuna No 42 and El Hierro-based PESCARESTINGA and Cofradia de La Restinga also recently joined IPNLF as Members.
Martin Purves, Managing Director of IPNLF, comments, “The addition of Islatuna into IPNLF’s Member network provides a meaningful extension of our reach in the Canary Islands. Their engagement takes our membership up to 57 partners that share the same mantra – to ensure that the world’s traditional one-by-one tuna fishers and the communities that they come from are given all of the support that they need to safeguard their futures. We look forward to working on the ground with Islatuna and the fishers it represents to nurture the fishery and also to elevate its voice on the international stage.”