Maldives yellowfin tuna - handline

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Overview

The handline fishery is the most important, in terms of foreign exchange revenue. Current landings are about 28,000 MT annually, of which 80% is exported, mostly in fresh chilled form. These exports are worth about 70 million USD a year. 

The fishery targets surface-dwelling large yellowfin tuna, which in non-handline fisheries are often associated with dolphins. While Maldivians know of the fishery potential of yellowfin tuna, a targeted fishery using handlines started 1990s as a response to the private sector involvement in fresh tuna exports.  Livebait, often scads (Selar crumenophthalmus, Decapterus macarellus)  and triggerfish (Odonus niger), are used to attract and maintain large yellowfin tuna schools. Hooked scads/triggerfish on handline leads with sinkers are used to catch yellowfin and hauled manually. The fish are killed immediately, gilled, gutted, and bled before being stored on flake ice.  

The fishery is highly selective with no bycatch and virtually no negative interactions with ETP species.

The scope of the FIP is the entire Maldives handline fishery, conducted throughout the archipelago, but generally restricted to the south-central, central, and northern regions. The Maldives fishery segment is part of the wider Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna stock, but this fishery targets only adult tuna within the Maldivian EEZ.

Of the roughly 800 licensed tuna vessels in the Maldives, about 50% target exclusively yellowfin using handlines. The fishing licenses are renewed every year and managed by the Maldives Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources, and Agriculture.
 

FIP Description 

The handline fishery is the most important, in terms of foreign exchange revenue. Current landings are about 28,000 MT annually, of which 80% is exported, mostly in fresh chilled form. These exports are worth about 70 million USD a year. 

FIP Objective(s) 

The Maldives Handline Yellowfin Tuna Fishery Improvement Project seeks to achieve the following objectives  by the end of 2026:

  • Improve market demand and market access for the Maldives one-by-one handline yellowfin tuna fishery.
  • Promote actions to implement a rebuilding plan for the YFT stock that is expected to allow an increase in the stock to a point that it is at or fluctuating around Bmsy.
  • Promote actions to implement an effective Harvest Strategy, supported by appropriate and effective Harvest Control Rules and Tools
  • Identify management requirements for livebait species utilized in the handline fishery and ongoing information requirements to ensure management is appropriate.
  • Implement a process to review any measures necessary to minimise UoA related mortality of endangered, threatened and protected species, notably sharks.
  • To achieve MSC Certification of the handline yellowfin tuna fishery by 2026, with all indicator scores reaching 80 or above.

 

 

FIP Type 
Comprehensive
FIP Stage 
Stage 2: FIP Launch
Start and Projected End Dates
May 2021
May 2026
Next Progress Report Due 
Saturday, October 30, 2021
Species 
Common Name 
Yellowfin Tuna
Scientific Name
Thunnus albacares
Gear Type 
Handline
Location
FAO Major Fishing Area
Area 51 (Indian Ocean, Western)
Exclusive Economic Zones
Country 
Maldives
Geographic Scope 
The entire EEZ of the Maldives
Regional Fisheries Management Organization
IOTC
High Seas Name 
Indian Ocean
Landings
Estimated Total FIP Landings 
25,000 metric tons
Estimated Total Fishery Landings 
30,000 metric tons
Landings Date 
June 2019
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FIP at a Glance

4% 25% 71%
May 01, 2021
4% 25% 71%
Progress Rating

A - Advanced Progress
Reserved for comprehensive FIPs that have a Stage 4 or 5 result within the past 12 months.

B - Good Progress
A FIP that has achieved a Stage 4 or 5 in more than 12 months AND Stage 3 activity in the last year; OR a basic FIP that has achieved Stage 4 or 5 achievements within the past 12 months.

C - Some Recent Progress
A FIP that has achieved a Stage 4 or 5 result in more than 12 (but less than 24) months but has not generated a Stage 3 result within the past 12 months OR a FIP younger than a year that has never achieved a Stage 4 or 5 result but has completed a Stage 3 activity.

D - Some Past Progress
A FIP for which the most recent publicly reported Stage 4 or 5 result is more than 24 (but less than 30) months.

E - Negligible Progress
A FIP older than a year that has not reported a Stage 4 or 5 result in more than 30 month (but less than 36) months; OR a FIP younger than 1 year that has not reported a Stage 3 activity.

The ratings are currently derived by SFP from publicly available data on FIP websites, including FisheryProgress.org, and are determined using the following methodology: View PDF
Not yet available
Actions Complete

This pie chart represents completed environmental actions. Non-completed environmental actions may contain completed sub-tasks that are not illustrated here. For more information on environmental action progress visit the Actions Progress tab.

  • Complete
  • Incomplete
Next Update Due FisheryProgress requires a FIP to provide update reports every six months, and two missed reports will render the FIP inactive. If a report is overdue, this date will appear red.
Oct 2021
Target End Date
May 2026
Additional Impacts:
Traceability

FIP Leads

Organization Name 
Maldives Seafood Processors and Exporters Association
Organization Type 
NGO
Primary Contact 
Shafin Ahmed
Phone 
+9607753978
Organization Name 
International Pole and Line Foundation
Organization Type 
NGO
Primary Contact 
M. Shiham Adam
Phone 
+9607792687
FIP Identification Number The FIP Identification Number is automatically generated by FisheryProgress when a FIP profile is created. While the number itself is not meaningful, they are used by NGOs, academia, and industry to refer to FIPs in a consistent way.
15236