[March 2015 / Malé]
International Pole & Line Foundation supported Fishermen’s Community and Training Centre launches National Skipper Training Curriculum, for pole-and-line tuna fishers in the Maldives
Official opening ceremony for the skipper curriculum, Maldives. [L-R] Dr. Aishath Shiham (Maldives Education Minister), Mr Maizan (Head of Maldives’ Fishermen’s Association), John Burton (IPNLF Chairman) & Dr Mohamed Shainee (Minister of Fisheries & Agriculture). © IPNLF
One year on from the launch of the Fishermen’s Community and Training Centre (FCTC), the pole-and-line skipper curriculum has officially been recognised by the Ministry of Education, making it the first national fishing curriculum in the country. This represents a major milestone for the FCTC and the Maldives, ensuring that fishers will be able to train for a qualification that ensures safe, sustainable fishing.
The FCTC is an education centre that provides Maldivian practicing and aspiring pole-and-line fishermen training and tuition. The FCTC was opened in January 2014, through the combined efforts of the International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF) and the development fund of Switzerland’s largest retailing group Migros, with support of the Maldives’ government and the Maldives Fisherman’s Association.
Throughout 2014 a number of short-courses were offered – covering a wide range of topics from sea safety, marine engine repair and maintenance, marine ecology and bait management– which formed the building blocks of the national curriculum. The courses, and in turn the curriculum, are aimed at improving the sustainability and efficiency of the Maldives’ pole-and-line tuna fishery, ensuring the industry’s viability for future generations. As part of their training, two fishers at the centre Moosa and Yaman travelled to fish on American Albacore Fishing Association vessels in the Pacific North West, capitalising on IPNLF’s global network of fisheries.
The curriculum was launched at a ceremony attended by Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Dr. Mohammed Shainee, Minister of Education Dr. Aishath Shiham, Minister of Environment, Mr. Thoriq Ibrahim, and Mr. Maizan Ahmed Maniku, President of the Maldives Fishermen’s Association, along with Mr. John Burton, Chairman of the International Pole & Line Foundation. During a short speech congratulating the finalisation of the curriculum, John Burton said: “Knowledge is power they say – well I believe that with the knowledge gained from this curriculum, Maldives can be assured of the sustainable management of its marine resources for generations to come. ”
Adnan Ali, President of the Maldives Seafood Processors and Exporters Association (MSPEA), sees the instant benefits of the curriculum for the national tuna industry: “Trained knowledgeable young fishermen coming into the industry will strengthen and enhance our policy of responsible fishery for which we are committed.”
Thanks to its national recognition, the curriculum may now be taught in education service providers all over the country, allowing fishers throughout the Maldives to access to this training.