Livebait is critical for tuna fisheries of the Maldives and large amounts are required for both pole-and-line and handling fishing operations. Livebait fishing is a critical aspect of the main fishing trip and is always conducted first thing in the morning before heading to the open ocean in search of tuna. As fishing vessels arrive at the fishing grounds, the livebait is then used as chum to attract and maintain the tuna school within reach of the vessel.
From 2014 to 2019, IPNLF-Maldives undertook a series of fishery observer trips across the Maldives on pole-and-line and hand line vessels. Our first hand observations provided unique insights into the livebait fishery’s operations. We gained a deeper understanding of the rapidly evolving nature of the livebait fishing techniques and were able to identify areas for reducing post-harvest mortality and improving survival. Armed with this knowledge, IPNLF-Maldives initiated a proposal to UNDP/SGP, focusing on the development of a set of livebait best practices.
It brings us great pride to share our best practices guide, complemented by a video documentary and illustrated best practices content. The successful launch event in Th Veymandoo was made possible with thanks to the Atoll Council, and we extend our heartfelt gratitude to Snr Council Executive Mohamed Yashu, for coordinating this event with our team.
Our guide focusses on six key areas of bait practice:
We have endeavoured to present these recommendations with clear illustrations and concise explanations, ensuring fishers can easily understand and implement them.
It is our aspiration that these resources will serve as a practical guide for fishers, helping them adopt these best practices seamlessly. A printed version of this booklet will find its way to every fishing vessel in the Maldives, serving as a tangible reminder of these guidelines.
The IPNLF team wishes to express our appreciation for the unwavering support we’ve received from fishers across the Maldives in the development of this guide.