The International Pole and Line Foundation (IPNLF) has signed a five-year memorandum of understanding with the Maldives Seafood Processors and Exporters Association (MSPEA). The MoU defines long-term objectives between the two parties on joint sustainability initiatives.
According to a press release by IPNLF, this agreement establishes a dynamic, collaborative commitment to support of the local tuna sector. Furthermore, the initiative aims to improve the livelihoods of communities connected to these fisheries and ensure that the Maldives remains at the forefront of the global one-by-one tuna supply. The two organizations will also share office facilities in Malé.
“The Maldives is widely considered the home of pole-and-line tuna, and so the signing of this MOU is a very important step for all those connected locally and internationally to these fisheries. By working much closer together, IPNLF and MSPEA intend to further advance all the good work that has already been done. We want to continue to build a stronger and more commercially competitive Maldivian one-by-one tuna sector, thereby ensuring that it is better positioned to meet the future needs of the many dependent coastal communities, as well as the ever-growing demands of consumer markets,” IPNLF Managing Director Martin Purves said in a statement.
With one-by-one fisheries in the Maldives being people-centric, and comprise 100% locally-owned fishing operations engaged in traditional practices, IPNLP says that, for this reason, an important element of the IPNLF-MSPEA cooperation will be to continue to study, and ultimately quantify, the social and economic contributions of these fisheries.
“There is so much that the Maldives needs to do to promote and protect this unique fishery. Attending the recent IOTC Commission meeting in Hyderabad opened my eyes to a number of crucial issues; most notably, key stocks are overexploited and the use of drifting Fish Aggregating Device (dFAD) on the high seas is not effectively regulated or monitored, leading to high juvenile tuna catches in the purse seine dFAD fishery. It was also obvious that the G16 Group of Indian Ocean Coastal States need to work together before it is too late. It is time the Maldives and other coastal states claim their rightful place in the Indian Ocean tuna fishery.” Umar Jamaal, President of MSPEA, commented.
IPNLF is the only non-profit association that is solely committed to promoting responsible one-by-one tuna fisheries and supply chains.
MSPEA is a registered charity in the Maldives that represents a number of the major Maldivian tuna processing companies. It is also the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification holder for the Maldives pole-and-line skipjack tuna fishery, providing the financial mechanisms to maintain the certificate in the long-term. This certification is currently in its second five-year cycle.