Last June 19th and 20th, Fishing & Living attended the 3rd annual catch estimate workshop, in Da Nang, Vietnam
The 3rd Vietnam annual catch estimates workshop, organized by the Department of Fisheries Resources Exploitation and Protection (DECAFIREP) and coordinated by the Western and Central Pacific Ocean Commission (WCPFC), took place last June. The main objective of the workshop was to produce reliable tuna catch estimates for 2013 for then to be reported to the WCPFC for regional catch estimates and stock assessments. Fishing & Living attended as an observer to learn more about the status of the project in Vietnam and meet stakeholders involved/with an interest in the project such as national and provincial government staff, scientists, industry associations and WWF Vietnam. Fishing & Living met a very welcoming group who were happy to see more industry players involved in the project.
Collecting consistent data and producing reliable catch estimates is crucial for sustainable fisheries as it informs fisheries managers on the status of the stock and whether current level of exploitation are exceeding sustainable limits.
During the workshop, data collected in the 3 main tuna provinces (Phu Yen, Khan Hoa and Binh Din) was presented and discussed. Another 8 provinces are now part of the project and are also improving their data collection system.
Fishing & Living’s province of most interest is Phu Yen, where it plans to support FIP activities, in collaboration with WWF Vietnam. Local Phu Yen government staff currently collects data in 3 landing sites and plans to hire more staff to cover the remaining ones. Main remarks for the Phu Yen Province were:
1) There is an increasing number of large boats and small boats are leaving the fishery
2) Longline fishermen are not switching to Handline fishing as quickly as in other provinces. Some boats use both gears on the same trip which is not recorded.
3) Port sampling and data collection is difficult due to limited staff. Additional funding from the provincial government is being sought.
4) Logbook, which provide trip information such as fishing ground and catch information, are returned from around 50-70% of boats and increasing but the quality of the recorded data is sometimes poor.
5) Some problems with cooperation with local processors and buyers to provide data.
What is the WPEA-OFM project?
The West Pacific East Asia Oceanic Fisheries Management Project (WPEA-OFM), facilited by WCPFC and supported by SPC, has been ongoing since 2010. The project aims to build capacity in Vietnam (as well as Phillipines and Indonesia) to “engage in regional management initiatives to conserve and manage highly migratory regional stocks” such as tuna. To learn more about the project, visit the WPEA-OFM website.
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