World fishery experts gather to guide the future of pole-and-line

Fishery experts gather to form the International Pole & Line Foundation’s Scientific & Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) – a group advising the future direction of work supporting pole and line fisheries worldwide.
International Pole & Line Foundation

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.

Notes to Editors

  1. The International Pole and Line Foundation (IPNLF) works to develop and demonstrate the value of pole and line caught tuna for thriving coastal communities. The charity’s ambition is to improve the wellbeing of coastal fisheries and the people and seas they connect.
  2. The IPNLF, which was launched in November 2011, is officially registered in the UK and has branch offices in the Maldives and Indonesia.
  3. The IPNLF is a hub for likeminded people and commercial operations that want to support the sustainable and equitable development of pole-and-line tuna. Membership is open to all those involved in the tuna supply chain from individual fisheries to communities and markets.
  4. The Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) advises the IPNLF on how to best increase the supply of the sustainably pole and line caught tuna. The Committee helps formulate the Foundation’s work programme on science and technology and advises on where and how it can best engage with tuna fisheries. Membership is by invitation.
  5. The STAC Chair can be selected either among Committee Members or decided by the Chairman of the IPNLF. Any interim Chairs are selected among the Trustees and endorsed in a formal Trustees Meeting.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Jason Holland, IPNLF Press Office Tel: +44 (0)20 8530 4289, +44 (0)7908 908 953; Email:

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