Maldives handline yellowfin tuna — MSC
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You are here: Home Track a fishery Fisheries in the MSC program Fisheries in assessment Indian Ocean Maldives handline yellowfin tuna

Maldives handline yellowfin tuna

Last Updated: 17 July 2014
Number of fisheries: 2

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Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares)

MSC assessment status

Please refer to the assessment downloads for further information.

Fishery location

The fisheries are confined to the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Maldives.

Fishing method


Fishery management

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. Yellowfin catches were 13,243 and 7,418 tonnes using pole & line and handline respectively.

Commercial market

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.

Assessment timeline

The assessment process is expected to take 9 to 12 months and is scheduled for completion around March 2014. Please see the download section for a detailed assessment timeline.

The target eligibility date for this fishery is the date of certification.

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.

Sourcing from this fishery

Full details on the conditions and risks associated with sourcing under MSC assessment fish.

Tonnage of the fishery

The tonnages (2007) for the Maldives pole & line and handline tuna fisheries are as follows:

SpeciesPole & LineHandline
 Bigeye tuna  932 MT < 5 MT 
 Yellowfin tuna  13,243 MT 7,418 
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