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Why tuna fishing is more than ‘just a job’

IPNLF launches a new report ‘Social Benefits of One-by-One Fisheries’; the second study in its Social Dimension series.
For many communities across the world, fishing is a way of life. Maldives, 2016 © IPNLF

Fishing is more “than a job”. For many coastal communities across the world, it is a way of life and integral to local culture and values. The social benefits associated with fishing include increased economic activity and employment for local communities, in turn supporting local businesses, tradition and customs. By demonstrating these attributes IPNLF works to enhance the supply and demand of these fisheries so that fishing communities and the businesses and seas connected to them thrive. But the big question is how. How can we demonstrate the benefits of these fisheries, and how can we share their stories to markets and consumers like you?

As part of its new Social Dimensions series, IPNLF’s most recent report examines the social benefits derived from one-by-one fisheries and the resulting impacts on the communities dependent on them. Authored by Dr Alice Miller, IPNLF's Social Research & Programme Director, the report examines evidence collated through a literature review and preliminary research and introduces the key social aspects of one-by-one tuna fisheries – encompassing both the material benefits (including employment, income, and food availability) and cultural and community benefits (including identity, human rights and gender parity).

By bridging the gap between demand and supply of sustainable one-by-one caught tuna, IPNLF aims to ensure that fisheries reach a stage where they can credibly support the growing consumer demand for these products. IPNLF works to ensure that one-by-one fisheries continue to be a stable source of employment and income to coastal communities.

While this paper provides an overview of salient information concerning these fisheries, it also identified that data focusing on the social contribution of one-by-one tuna fisheries is extremely limited, underscoring the need for further in-depth research. To this end, IPNLF is working with partners to initiate and conduct research programmes in Indonesia, the Maldives and beyond, to increase the understanding of the social dynamics of these fisheries.