To advance more sustainably managed tuna long line fisheries in Vietnam Culimer and WWF started the Marine Turtle By-catch and Long Line Observer Program in 2008. The project - part of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) between the Vietnamese and Dutch Government, WWF and Culimer - aimed to reduce unwanted by-catch of endangered marine turtles and improve data and fisheries management of Vietnamese long line tuna fisheries.
Vietnamese tuna fisheries
Traditional long line tuna fisheries experience an overall lack of data, by-catch impacts and insufficient management systems. In practice fishermen steam home full speed to deliver the catch of days and weeks old, in order to have the best part of this catch flown around half the world. The rest - over 65% of their catch - can only be sold to steak and canning factories for much lower prices than fresh tuna.
The PPP has actively supported the positive approach by Vietnam to join the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), a real necessity for highly migratory species as yellowfin and bigeye tuna. Culimer is grateful to see that WCPFC has accepted Vietnam in 2010 as cooperative non-member, working towards full membership.
Studies have confirmed that the use of “Circle” hooks can reduce the hooking rate of marine turtles and discards by as much as 80 percent, compared to traditional “J” hooks. Circle hooks have also been found to be less prone to swallowing compared to J hooks, improving post-hooking survival of marine turtles and tuna themselves. Circle hooks lead to harvesting of fresher, better quality tuna and ultimately higher quality seafood products. Culimer & WWF actively train fishermen and observers in the awareness and use of circle hooks and marine turtle de-hooking methods.
Sustainable tuna articles
Click here for the WWF publications on the WWF website:
-By catch Policy Brief January 2011
-Article of 19 January 2010
-Article of 28 December 2009
-Article of 30 December 2008