Last June, Fishing & Living visited Tuy Hoa Port in Vietnam to meet stakeholders and identify potential FIP activities for the Yellowfin tuna Longline/Handline fishery
Tuy Hoa is located on the South Coast of Vietnam, in one if the 3 main tuna fishing provinces, Phu Yen. Based on recent catch estimates formulated through the WPEA-OFM project, the Phu Yen longline/handline fishery accounted for 30% of longline caught yellowfin tuna nationwide in 2012. Anova mostly sources from the handline fishery.
The aim of the trip was to learn more about the longline/handline tuna fishery in Phu Yen: fishing method, unloading activities, interaction with Endangered, Threatened and Protected species (ETPs), length of fishing trips, fishing seasons, structure of the supply chain and traceability. Fishing & Living managed to meet with staff from a local buying/processing company, one of the landing site manager and a longline fisherman.
Based on this trip, Fishing & Living plans to further discuss options with other FIP stakeholders and the FIP coordinating organization: WWF Vietnam.
Both longline and handline fishing method are very selective, mostly catching tuna over 30KG. Some interactions with ETP species seem to occur when fishing with longline gear but handline fishing has very low bycatch rates and very little direct interaction with ETP species. Most boats are equipped with satellite location devices but it was unsure whether some had a vessel monitoring device in place. Since the start of the WPEA-OFM project started in 2010, some progress has been made in all aspects of data collection (port sampling, logbooks, fleet structure survey) but still needs to be reinforced due to limited local government staff.
Traceability and quality aspects were also looked at. The traceability system in place allows tracing back to buyer/landing site therefore improvements have to be made to trace back to the individual boat. With handline fishing being only a recently used method (since late 2011), there has been some quality issues due to poor handling of the fish. However, these aspects are being researched through university research projects and Anova plans to support the implementation of identified potential solutions.
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