Cook Islands FIP: Sustainability training conducted for LTFV staff

April 2016


Mike McCoy (left) demonstrating to LTFV manager of the captain training program Li Pan (right) the method for using a long-handled line cutter.

On 14 April 2016 consultant Mike A. McCoy of Gillett, Preston and Associates conducted a workshop in Zhoushan, China to train staff of Luen Thai Fishing Venture (LTFV) who train fishing base managers to instruct captains of pelagic longline tuna vessels that are based out of the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Cook Islands. In addition to the LTFV trainers, three longline vessel captains and their crew attended the workshop. The captain training is an activity of Fishery Improvement Projects of the three fisheries, as well as a condition of certification of the Marine Stewardship Council-certified Cook Islands longline fishery for albacore tuna. This train-the-trainer workshop was made possible through the support of LTFV, Anova Foods USA, Norpac Fisheries Export, and The Nature Conservancy, who are participants of Fishery Improvement Projects in these fisheries.

The training covered:

  • The importance of avoiding and minimizing the catch and mortality of endangered, threatened and protected species, including sea turtles, whales and dolphins, sharks and rays, and seabirds;
  • Handling and release equipment to be kept onboard, and guidance on prescribed handling and release methods for sea turtles, whales and dolphins, sharks and rays, and seabirds;
  • Overview of government longline rules;
  • LTFV company policy banning the use of gear to target sharks, and banning the retention of sharks;
  • Guidance for proper use of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community/Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency logbook form for pelagic longline fishers;
  • Introduction to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community species identification guide for longline fishers;

Mike McCoy (left) demonstrating the consequences of leatherback sea turtle ingestion of plastic bags, longline captain train-the-trainer workshop in Zhoushan.

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