WWF-India and IPNLF sign MoU to collaborate efforts to obtain MSC Certification for the Skipjack Tuna fishery in Lakshadweep
The clear waters of the Arabian Sea lend Lakshadweep Islands its unending charm. The waters also provide a source of livelihood to communities living there. The islands are home to one of the few existing sustainable fishing practices of pole-and-line fisheries among the Indian Ocean islands. In a bid to direct future investment down a sustainable pathway, WWF-India has been working with the community, to obtain an MSC certification for the Lakshadweep Skipjack Tuna fishery.
Certification of a fishery assures the sustainability of the produce thus providing local fishworkers incentive to continue with their sustainable approach to fishing. It accommodates the fishery towards sustained productivity and lends the fishery access better market opportunities. MSC certification may also benefit the islanders (and perhaps India more widely) in terms of positive marketing, and help to raise awareness regarding sustainability issues among India’s fisheries policymakers.
The Lakshadweep Skipjack Tuna Fishery is currently going through Fishery Improvement Plan. To this end, WWF-India signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Pole & Line Foundation(IPNLF) to collaborate efforts in the preparation of a Fishery Management Plan (FMP)which will help the fishery on its way to being MSC certified. The IPNLF is an organization that works to develop, support and promote socially and environmentally responsible pole-and-line and handline tuna fisheries around the world.
The agreement, effective for a period of three years, will help develop and improve the fishery catch, data collection, compilation and reporting systems to meet the growing demands on produce, regulatory requirements and systems for data collection and research. WWF and IPNLF will also work together to improve the monitoring and management of the fishery by educating fishermen and improving routine collection of live bait catch data.