The first annual meeting of the International Pole & Line Foundation’s (IPNLF’s) Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) will take place on 3-4 February 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The meeting is being co-funded by IPNLF members Marks & Spencer, MMP, Ocean Brands and World Wise Foods.
The STAC’s main function is to advise the IPNLF on how to work towards its primary aim of advancing wellbeing amongst coastal fisheries by increasing the global supply of socially and environmentally responsible pole and line caught tuna. The Committee will help identify emerging issues in pole and line tuna fisheries where IPNLF can provide meaningful engagement and maximum impact.
John Burton, Chairman of the IPNLF says: “The future of pole and line fishing is dependent upon fishermen being able to supply a responsibly-caught product, whilst maintaining high quality standards as well as proof of catch method. This is an ongoing challenge; a challenge that will require dedicated thinking from those with experience, expertise and a passion for ensuring sustainability in the fishing industry. We are grateful to have our STAC members on board, ready to begin work on what is the start of another important phase in IPNLF’s progression.”
He adds: “The Foundation would like to acknowledge the support of the event’s sponsors. It would have been extremely difficult getting the STAC off the ground without their funding.”
STAC membership is by invitation and members are handpicked by consensus among IPNLF Trustees for a period of five years. Generally, members are well-known, experienced professionals and academics in fishery research, development and management.
Current STAC Members include:
- Dr Charles Anderson – a UK-trained marine biologist who has lived and worked in the Maldives since 1983, conducting extensive research on tuna fisheries biology.
- Haritz Arrizabalaga – a PhD in Marine Science and Principal Investigator for AZTI Tecnalia (Spain), leading research projects about tuna fisheries and population dynamics since 1999.
- Dr Laurent Dagorn – a French senior scientist working for the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (France).
- Bob Gillett – a coastal and tuna fisheries specialist who has been involved in large number of projects in the Pacific Islands and the Indian Ocean.
- Dr Hussain Rasheed Hassan – a Maldivian fisheries economist by training and the country’s Minister of State for Fisheries and Agriculture since November 2008.
- Duncan Leadbitter – Director of Australian-based fishery and natural resource consulting company Fish Matter, which was established in 2009.
- Dr Tony Lewis – a researcher with over 40 years research experience in the biology, ecology and management of tunas and associated species throughout the Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission region.
- Craig Proctor – a Fisheries Scientist at CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research in Hobart, Australia.
STAC is chaired by Committee Member Dr M Shiham Adam, a UK-trained fishery specialist with particular expertise in the field of tropical tunas. Dr Adam has been Director General of the Marine Research Centre in the Maldives since 2005 and a member of the Fisheries Advisory Board since 2008. He is also the IPNLF’s Director for Science and the Maldives. Details of discussions at the inaugural STAC meeting will be issued in the days following the event.