Pole-and-line fishing is widely accepted as a sustainable method for catching tuna. However, the reliance upon baitfish, which can vary in terms of availability, provides a potentially unsustainable element to fisheries. Baitfish are 6-9cm in length and are traditionally caught by boat-based lift nets in coastal areas around tuna fishing grounds. However, a trend towards reduced baitfish catches, combined with increased human consumption, has increased baitfish prices in recent years. To ensure that baitfish stocks are sustainably managed, IPNLF have been working to enhance data collection, improve baitfish handling and explore the potential for Milkfish cultivation, as and alternative to wild bait.
IPNLF has supported the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) in hosting a series of national bait management planning workshop. The aims of these workshops are to identify data availability and gaps to support management planning, and the formation of a baitfish management working group comprised of government, industry and NGO stakeholders.