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Future of Fish Hails New FIS for Tuna Fishers A Big Step Forward

07 November 2016

MALDIVES - The new online Fisheries Information System (FIS) recently introduced to Maldivian one-by-one tuna fisheries is truly innovative and pushes the envelope in terms of what can be achieved in modern fisheries management, according to the global seafood sustainability non-profit organisation Future of Fish.

Launched in August this year, the FIS monitors catch logbooks, fish purchase information, fishing vessel licence information and catch certificates, allowing the Maldives’ one-by-one tuna fisheries to fulfil all the latest international traceability requirements with regards to catch and vessel reporting.

Keith Flett, Strategy Director with Future of Fish, recently visited the Maldives to evaluate the system with support from the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture (MoFA) and the International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF) and was impressed by what he saw.

“The FIS is using both catch documentation and catch information to verify their exports. It is one of the bigger steps forward that a government has taken to verify that the catch has actually been reported to the government at the point of export. All while trying to meet EU and IUU task force laws,” says Mr Flett.

Through its work in traceability technology, Future of Fish has identified the five core functions that must be present in order to ensure full-chain transparency in the seafood supply chain. The new FIS in the Maldives manages to check off three of the most challenging functions: supply chain visibility, vessel-dock capture, and data verification, a feat that Flett calls “very impressive”. He adds, “This system provides significantly greater security to the seafood supply chain.”

John Burton, Chairman of IPNLF, comments: “The Maldives has been one of IPNLF’s biggest priorities from the outset. This commitment began with our support work geared towards achieving MSC certification for the country’s pole-and-line skipjack fishery, and the relationship has become even more deep-rooted in the years that have followed that milestone. Today, we are working closer than ever with local fishing groups, NGOs, government, scientists and the commercial industry to ensure its traditional one-by-one fisheries continue to be managed as responsibly as possible, while providing sustainable employment for Maldivian fishermen. An important achievement in this work was the creation of a robust FIS, which we and our Members long considered central to safeguarding the futures of these communities as well as to capitalise on the huge international demand for sustainable one-by-one caught tuna.”

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