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International Pole & Line Foundation Programs

The International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF) works to develop, support and promote socially and environmentally responsible coastal tuna fisheries around the world through on-the-water fisheries improvement, enhanced traceability, advocacy for science-based management, and market engagement.

Industry and Market Incentives: Promote greater industry self-regulation of seafood legality and sustainability

IPNLF works with its network of market Members and partners to forge change through stakeholder engagement:

  • IPNLF works closely with Indonesia’s pole-and-line and hand-line industry association - AP2HI - including suppliers, fishers and canners, representing the entire supply chain in Indonesia. In addition to promoting these fisheries, IPNLF works with AP2HI to increase efficiency and align to international market requirements. Furthermore, we work to promote fair, transparent, sustainable use of Indonesia’s resources.
  • IPNLF Member network currently includes 45 organizations in the one-by-one tuna supply chain, including fisheries associations, buyers, suppliers, retailers, and processors from around the world.
  • Self-regulation and strong data collection are required to distinguish one-by-one tuna products in the market place and can help drive price premiums to fishermen and processing companies.  A number of our members go above and beyond the minimum requirements to ensure the story of their responsibly harvested products is verifiable and told to the end consumer.

Traceability and Transparency: Foster a transparent flow of fisheries-related information to improve management, enforcement, and business operations

Recently, IPNLF has been working collaboratively on a number of initiatives that support tuna supply chain traceability in small and medium-scale one-by-one fisheries:

  • In the Maldives, IPNLF teamed up with some of its Member organisations and the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture to develop a web-enabled Fisheries Information System (FIS) to integrate logbook catch data, fish purchase information, and catch certificates. As well as providing the necessary assurances related to Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, the data provided by the FIS supports stock assessments and also meets the reporting requirements of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC).
  • In Indonesia, IPNLF worked with partners to develop a web-enabled application to audit vessels at quayside or at sea, enabling vessel details and supporting documents to be checked against AP2HI’s vessel database. To date, the Fish Panel system holds information on more than 100 pole-and-line and 700 handline vessels, and will provide the foundation for a comprehensive fishery information system, which will help to meet MSC Chain of Custody (CoC) requirements on product traceability.
  • Provenance completed a pilot project in collaboration with IPNLF, using emerging technology to track tuna along the supply chain from landing to factory and beyond. Using blockchain as a ledger of events between computers, receiving data from SMS messages from fishers’ phones and other entries along the value chain, Provenance tracked a handline caught yellowfin tuna from Maluku, Indonesia, demonstrating how this technology has the potential to support traceability in small-scale fisheries.

Support and strengthen local, national, and regional governance arrangements to enable sustainable fisheries management

Using the collective IPNLF voice, we advocate for improved domestic and international management for sustainable tuna fisheries.

IPNLF work with its Members to amplify the voice of the one-by-one, small-scale tuna fisheries sector to encourage the adoption of management improvements that will benefit tuna stocks and safeguard the coastal communities that depend on them at the regional level (IOTC, WCPFC, IATTC, ICCAT) by:

  • Writing position statements stating RFMO policy priorities
  • Coordinating engagement with its network of Members to encourages key seafood stakeholders and industry to reach out to the RFMO Member countries and demonstrate their support for improved management.
  • Convening workshops to gather representatives from RFMO coastal states to increase awareness and support for improved management
  • Collaborating with the NGO community, to ensure that communication efforts are aligned and effective
  • Participate on the ground at the RFMO meetings to support delegations on key proposals.

IPNLF works closely with governments and other partners to strengthen management measures:

  • In Indonesia, IPNLF provide technical recommendations and support to the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries to assist the development of national management plans and policies for tuna that are fishery-specific, and define catch and/ or effort controls
  • In St Helena, IPNLF is working with government and fishermen to create policies to promote and protect St Helena’s unique ecosystem, as well as the sustainable small-scale tuna fishery that has been part of island community for decades.
  • In the Maldives, IPNLF works closely with the government to drive regional management improvements for the tuna fisheries.
  • Additionally, IPNLF works currently works with governments and fisheries in the Azores, South Africa, and the US, and will expand to other geographies in the years ahead.

Associated website: link
Timeframe: Jan. 01, 2012 -
Project Status: Ongoing
Contact: Adam Baske
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Thematic Focus: Industry and Market Incentives, Governance and Management, Transparency
Geographic Areas: South Africa, North America, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe
Activity Type: Project
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