The International Pole and Line Foundation (IPNLF) and its member Seafood Souq joined forces to conduct a pilot project using IPNLF’s Fisheries Improvement Toolbox.
This collaboration focused on targeted improvements in one-by-one tuna operations introducing high-quality, sustainably caught Omani tuna as an alternative source for the global seafood market with Seafood Souq providing a direct route to global buyers via their digitised seafood marketplace.
Oman’s 3,165km coastline is home to a variety of marine life with a long-standing history of traditional artisanal fishing operated by highly skilled, Omani fishers. Omani tuna is, more often than not, sold for a domestic market rather than exported internationally, but it holds huge potential.
One of the challenges faced by this fishery was developing the techniques to provide the highest quality tuna product (“grade-A”) to meet the demands of international buyers. In the global market, high quality tuna for sushi and sashimi is often bought from longline, rather than small-scale fisheries using low-impact techniques like handline. However, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.
The results of this project presents Omani Handline fishers as new contenders for suppliers of sashimi and sushi grade tuna through Seafood Souq’s digitized marketplace connecting global buyers through an efficient and traceable cold chain at a true global market price.
“As a technology company with sustainability at our core, we aim to be a leader in the Blue Economy, to benefit both buyers and fishers across the globe. Identifying and developing this project in Masirah, Oman and our partnership with local and topical experts, demonstrates the good we can bring through collaboration to the industry and to those who depend on it for a living. Through this programme with IPNLF we have successfully supported the four key goals of the United Nations SDGs: Zero Hunger, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Responsible Consumption and Production and Life Below Water”
Sean Dennis CEO & Co-founder, Seafood Souq
Seafood Souq, together with partner Ocean Experts in Oman, IPNLF’s Fishery Improvement Manager Craig Turley and IPNLF member Ryan Nienaber (experienced one-by-one tuna fisher), used their combined expertise, and IPNLF’s FIT (Fisheries Improvement Toolbox) to develop a Seafood Quality Assurance-project for the fishers located in Oman.
Over 10 days in Oman, the team provided technical training in fish handling and cold storage and successfully demonstrated that, with the right techniques, Omani handline tuna can become ‘Grade-A’ quality, and post harvest losses can be eliminated.
This project has seen an increase in product quality, reduced waste, reduced environmental impact and supports better economics for the local fishers and the region by expanding their horizons beyond the shores of the Omani market.
One-by-one fishing gear, by design, selectively harvests healthy tuna, while having minimal negative impacts on broader ecosystems. By improving the efficiency and sustainability of low-impact fishing methods like these we can ensure a healthy ocean, and subsequently a healthy planet, for our future.
“This project, working with small-scale fishing communities in Oman, was built around the framework of IPNLF’s Fisheries Improvement Toolbox (FIT) and serves as a testament to the value that this collaborative approach can bring to one-by-one tuna fisheries around the world. The FIT provides IPNLF Members with a structured approach to implement and track improvements in the fisheries they work with, ultimately helping secure the livelihoods of these communities into the future. This on-the-water quality improvement work has empowered Omani fishers to minimise post-harvest losses, while achieving better prices and potentially accessing more lucrative markets, which will allow them to increase their income.”
Roy Bealey, Fisheries Director, IPNLF
Nature-positive food production systems recognise that biodiversity underpins the delivery of all ecosystem services, on which humanity depends, and that these are critical for the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Paris Agreement.
To achieve this, IPNLF develops fisheries which have sustainably managed improved yields but focus on reduced costs on people or planet and aim to maximise biodiversity and ecosystem functions, which enhances resilience to climate change, and contributes to a more equitable and sustainable world. This project is an example of how IPNLF’s Fishery Improvement Toolkit can provide a framework to develop and implement cost-effective improvement projects on the ground. By working with partners and utilising our in-house expertise we can quickly deliver meaningful results, beyond expectations.
About Seafood Souq
Technology company Seafood Souq offers a vertically integrated digital solution for global seafood trade. Seafood Souq’s platform facilitates discovery, negotiations and transactions between seafood producers and buyers worldwide, together with freight and payment integration.
Featured in the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development for their contribution towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Seafood Souq’s product suite includes an open and transparent marketplace that specializes in sourcing from diversified developing markets as well as a supply chain traceability product and sustainability dashboard, SFS Trace.
The International Pole and Line Foundation (IPNLF) is the only charity in the world solely committed to supporting, developing and promoting the world’s pole-and-line, handline, and troll (collectively known as “one-by-one”) tuna fisheries.
IPNLF was officially registered as a charity in the United Kingdom in 2012 (Charity no. 1145586, with branch offices in the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, the Maldives, South Africa and Indonesia. IPNLF have since led global efforts to support, develop and promote the world’s responsible pole-and-line, handline and troll (collectively known as ‘one-by-one’) tuna fisheries.
Our mission is to empower responsible fisheries that give back to the seas and the people that depend on them, and our vision is a world with thriving fisheries that work in balance with nature by catching one fish at a time.
ABOUT IPNLF’S FISHERY IMPROVEMENT TOOLBOX
IPNLF supports its members to make targeted improvements in their one-by-one operations and associated supply chains with their Fisheries Improvement Toolbox (FIT) projects. The FIT-matrix provides a framework for tailor-made project support and consultancy services to their members and the fisheries they supply from.
The FIT has five main components: Social Responsibility, Ecosystem & Management, Traceability Improvement, Plastic Neutrality, and Seafood Quality Assurance.
ABOUT OCEAN EXPERTS
Ocean Experts, owned by Faisal Alsenaidi, is an experienced fisheries and processing plant operator, based in Salalah, Oman. With its own fleet of fishers and world class production, cold-chain and lab facilities, Ocean Experts has partnered exclusively with Seafood Souq for planning, implementation and global sales. Learn more at https://oman.seafoodsouq.com/
ABOUT RYAN NIENABER
Greenfish is a South African supplier of sustainable, fresh fish. Born of Founder Ryan Nienaber’s love for fishing and the ocean, the family run business services restaurant, hospitality and wholesale seafood businesses with high quality, seasonal and locally-sourced seafood.
Ryan Nienaber has thirty years of hand-on fishing experience; he has a wealth of experience that he has been drawing on since his first fishing days, aged five. Greenfish SA has been an IPNLF member since 2019 and has been establishing a strong relationship and partnership with the charity.