Maldives handline yellowfin tuna
Last Updated: 21st September 2010
Number of fisheries: 2
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Bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus)
Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares)
MSC assessment status
Please refer to the assessment downloads for further information.
The fisheries are confined to the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Maldives.
Pole & line and handline.
The regional management of tuna in the Indian Ocean falls under the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC). The Maldives have actively participated in its scientific Working Parties and intends to join the IOTC at the earliest opportunity.
Management of fisheries resources lies under the remit of the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, although the Ministry of Trade is separately responsible for the licensing of foreign vessels in the Maldivian EEZ (75-200 nm). Fisheries governance is based around the Fisheries Law of the Maldives (No. 5/1987) and its subsequent regulations.
Skipjack tuna comprise the majority of the catch with 95,807 tonnes caught in 2007 using pole & line and 1,054 tonnes caught using handline. Yellowfin catches were 13,243 and 7,418 tonnes using pole & line and handline respectively. Bigeye tuna were caught in much smaller numbers with 932 tonnes caught using pole & line and handline captures were less than 5% of the total.
Pole & line: skipjack: cooked and then put in cans or pouches for export, mainly to Europe. Bigeye and yellowfin is usually sold as whole frozen fish to international markets, mainly in Asia, with larger fish being loined. A small amount is also exported as chilled fresh fish.
Handline: sold fresh or frozen to domestic and international markets.
The assessment process is expected to take 9 to 12 months and is scheduled for completion around May 2010. Please see the download section for a detailed assessment timeline.
The target eligibility date for these fisheries is November 2009.
The MSC ecolabel can only be applied to product from certified fisheries. The MSC program does allow, in certain circumstances and within strict traceability requirements, the MSC ecolabel to be applied following certification to product caught before the actual date of certification. The target eligibility date therefore represents the date from which products may become eligible to carry the MSC ecolabel, however they cannot be sold until and if the fishery is certified. The actual eligibility date will be determined if the fishery is certified to the MSC standard.
To find out more about when fish from this fishery may be sold with the MSC ecolabel, please follow this link (http://www.msc.org/get-certified/supply-chain/eligibility-dates).
Tonnage of the fishery
The tonnages (2007) for the Maldives pole & line and handline tuna fisheries are as follows:
Pole & Line
< 5 MT