Maintaining South African albacore tuna stocks

WWF South Africa and The Albacore Tuna Pole and Line Fishery

Amount awarded: £50,000

This projects will assist the South African Albacore Tuna Pole and Line Fishery toward full MSC assessment by developing well defined Harvest Control Rules.

The project also aims to:

  • train fishers in species identification, 
  • develop a system to collect at-sea catch information
  • develop strategies to minimise impacts on endangered, threatened or protected species

The fishery predominantly operates off the south and west coasts, around Cape Town and up to the Namibian border. Fishers use bamboo poles with a wire leader attached and unbarbed hooks to catch and haul albacore tuna. 

While the pole and line method means very little bycatch, there are concerns around the stock status of tuna. Incidental capture of endangered seabirds within the fishery will also be monitored. 

Through its involvement in the Fish For Good project, WWF South Africa has identified the fishery as benefiting from being part of a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP). Fishery progress has been verified through the In-Transition to MSC pilot.

South Africa operates in ecologically important marine ecosystems considered to have high levels of marine biodiversity at risk. This project charters an important step in safeguarding these important marine ecosystems while securing livilihoods for South African fishers.

Craig Smith WWF South Africa
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