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Ocean Fresh Handline Yellowfin Receives FOS Certification

Friend of The Sea (FOS) has announced the certification of yellowfin tuna caught by handline method in the Maldives. The tuna is processed in loins by Ocean Fresh Pvt Ltd.

30 kilo average size yellowfin tuna caught with the handline method has resulted in this becoming a higher valued market in the Maldives than pole and line skipjack fishing. Some traditional pole and line vessels have now been equipped with cold storage and handlines, ready for the peak of the fishing season from November to March.

The Maldives fleet operates 200 to 300 kilometers from the coast in the Indian Ocean, and vessels are registered and carry logbooks. Results from these records show a less than one percent discard rate, of which is mainly skipjack tuna.

A ten year ban on shark fishing has been implemented in these waters and fishermen are instructed to de-hook endangered species that may be accidently caught. Fisheries managements in the Maldives include licensing schemes; quotas and prohibitions; and bans and levying royalties.

According to FOS stock assessments published in 2012 by the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) confirm that that biomass in the Maldives waters are above Maximum Sustainable Yield, while fishing mortality is below. This results in this region not being over exploited.

The IOTC focuses efforts into tuna stock status and ensuring sustainability of fisheries resources, while Ocean Fresh places importance on reducing waste by using fish trimmings for fish meal.

Managing Director of Ocean Fresh, Mr. Abbas Mohamed said: “Ocean Fresh is proud to be a Friend of the Sea. This recognition to our conservation efforts adds up to the Dolphin-Safe and the MFDA certifications.”