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Student Expedition Brings MSC-Certified Tuna Fisheries Closer Together

15 August 2014

MALDIVES - Two aspiring pole and line fishers from the Maldives are heading to Washington state, USA, to learn how to responsibly fish for albacore tuna, in association with the International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF).

Throughout next month, two aspiring pole and line fishers, currently enrolled in the new Fisherman’s Community and Training Centre (FCTC) in the Maldives, will put their burgeoning skills to the test in the North American albacore tuna fishery, thanks to the support of the International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF).

This is the first hands-on student observation expedition to be coordinated by IPNLF for FCTC students. The FCTC was established at the start of 2014 with funding from Engagement Migros, the development fund from the Swiss retailer Migros, IPNLF and the Maldives Fisherman’s Association.

Upon arrival in Washington State, the two young men – Moosa Shahudan and Yaman Abdulla – will embark on multi-day commercial fishing trips to catch albacore by pole and line. They will be aboard the vessel Royal Dawn, part of the American Albacore Fishing Association (AAFA). AAFA is a member of IPNLF.

Despite being more than 8,000 miles apart, the two fisheries share a very strong commitment to responsible management. Both the pole and line albacore fishery and pole and line skipjack tuna fishery in the Maldives are Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified, with the North American fishery producing the first tuna to bear the MSC eco-label.

Natalie Webster, deputy chair of IPNLF and director of operations for AAFA, says: “This trip represents a unique opportunity for cross-geographical, cross-generational learning between the fishers from the opposite sides of the world, but who all work to catch responsible, sustainable MSC-certified pole and line caught tuna. In this capacity, IPNLF represents a connector hub, where fishers around the world can connect with each other, to ensure a sustainable future for their fisheries, communities and the oceans the world over.”

Dan Averill, MSC fisheries outreach manager, Americas, adds: “This is a great opportunity for global collaboration as two fisheries that have achieved MSC certification as sustainable and well-managed, are able to work together to gain insight on continued improvements and ways to implement best practices for sustainable fishing world-wide.”

MSC certified pole and line caught tuna from the AAFA albacore tuna fishery and the Maldives pole and line skipjack tuna fishery are available for purchase with the recently launched tuna and cat food brands, Pole & Line Tuna and Deck Hand Premium Cat Food, offered exclusively at Whole Foods. For more information, visit www.poleandlinecaught.com.

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