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More Maldivian Support for Sustainable One-by-one Tuna Fisheries

14 February 2017

MALDIVES - Maldivian tuna supply chain companies Ensis Fisheries PVT Ltd and Maldives Quality Seafood PVT Ltd have become the latest Members of the International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF), the non-profit association that is committed to developing and supporting responsible one-by-one tuna fisheries and supply chains.

Ensis is a major tuna processing company that exports fresh and frozen products to the international market. The company is committed to environmentally responsible fishing practices and primarily sources its tuna from local one-by-one fishers (pole-and-line and handline tuna fisheries). In addition to its fresh tuna business, the company is building a facility to produce shelf-stable products which will be operational in the fourth-quarter of 2017.

Commenting on Ensis’ membership of IPNLF, Mohamed Waseem Ismail, Managing Director of Ensis, says, “We are delighted to join the International Pole & Line Foundation membership network – their support of the Maldives one-by-one fisheries has made a tremendous, positive impact on the local fisheries and the businesses and coastal communities they support. We look forward working with IPNLF to develop and support one-by-one fisheries and ensure they get the recognition they deserve.”

Maldives Quality Seafood (MQS) is a handline fishing operation based in Kaafu Atoll, in the Maldives archipelago, sourcing responsible handline yellowfin tuna and supplying it to the international market. It is also the first Fair Trade Certified™ producer of seafood in the country.

“For many years we have been championing responsible handline fisheries. We are excited to be able to join the International Pole & Line Foundation and we look forward to combining efforts to ensure the long-term viability of these fisheries and promote their fantastic benefits,” says Roy Schofield, Managing Director of MQS.

Ensis and MQS join IPNLF’s growing Member network of one-by-one fishery stakeholders, all of whom share the common understanding that managing fisheries for highly migratory species like tuna is a complex undertaking and that improved international management regimes are essential to driving the sustainable and equitable development of tuna fisheries. With the support and engagement of its Members, IPNLF helps to ensure that the demand for one-by-one caught tuna can be met without compromising the sustainability of the fisheries, while at the same time providing much-needed support for fishing communities who are heavily reliant upon those stocks.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome two more important players from the Maldivian tuna supply chain to our fast growing Member network. We are a hub for sustainably-minded organisations like Ensis and MQS who, through their commitment to responsible best-practice, want to safeguard the long-term future of sustainable Maldivian one-by-one tuna fisheries. We also hope to see many more ventures active in the Indian Ocean showing similar engagement in the months and years ahead,” says Martin Purves, Managing Director of IPNLF.

Mr Purves continues, “The Maldivian fisheries have been one of IPNLF’s main priorities from the outset. Originally our work focused on supporting the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification of the pole-and-line skipjack fishery. Today, we’re working closer than ever with local fishing NGOs, government, scientists and the commercial industry to ensure the country’s traditional one-by-one fisheries continue to be managed as responsibly as possible, while providing sustainable employment for Maldivian fishing communities. Most recently, we launched a new Fisheries Information System (FIS) to fulfil all of the latest international traceability requirements with regards to catch and vessel reporting. Together, these measures are providing the ideal platform for the Maldives to capitalise on the huge international demand for sustainable one-by-one caught tuna.”

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