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Out on the water: responsible tuna fishing

Last updated: 10th October 2016

Indonesia

An introduction to a responsible tuna fishing method: catching tuna one-by-one using hook, pole and line.

  • I

    One-by-one tuna fishing

    Methods by which one fisher uses one line to catch one tuna fish at a time, includes pole-and-line, handline and troll fishing techniques.

    Indonesian pole-and-line tuna fishing poles © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

    Indonesian pole-and-line tuna fishing poles © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

    Indonesia

    • Barbless hooks are used to minimise impact on non-target species, and increase fishing efficiency © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

      Barbless hooks are used to minimise impact on non-target species, and increase fishing efficiency © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

      Indonesia

    There is 1 collaborator on One-by-one tuna fishing

  • II

    Baitfish

    Baitfish are caught as a prerequisite to tuna fishing, they are traditionally fished at night in inshore waters using a small lift net or seine net. Baitfish are temporarily stored in sea pens, or transferred to the bait wells within the boat, where they are kept alive to be used during tuna fishing.

    Baitfish are caught as a prerequisite to one-by-one tuna fishing © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

    Baitfish are caught as a prerequisite to one-by-one tuna fishing © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

    Indonesia

    • Baitfish are kept alive in baitwells on board the fishing boats before a fishing event © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

      Baitfish are kept alive in baitwells on board the fishing boats before a fishing event © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

      Indonesia

    • Baitfish are caught in inshore waters, and temporarily stored in seapens © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

      Baitfish are caught in inshore waters, and temporarily stored in seapens © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

      Indonesia

  • III

    Locating

    Finding a tuna school can take several hours, so the fishers act quickly when one is located. Vessel skippers often pinpoint tuna schools using seabirds or by sighting other fishing boats. Monitored and maintained anchored Fish Aggregating Devices (aFADs) are also used to attract tuna schools, supporting improved fishing efficiency.

    One-by-one fishers use barbless hooks © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

    One-by-one fishers use barbless hooks © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

    Indonesia

    • One-by-one fishing vessel © Emily Howgate & IPNLF

      One-by-one fishing vessel © Emily Howgate & IPNLF

      Indonesia

    There is 1 collaborator on Locating

  • IV

    Chumming

    On finding a school of tuna, the live baitfish is thrown overboard. This process, known as chumming, is usually carried out in conjunction with water sprinkling, which creates the illusion of a large school of small fish near the water’s surface. The effect sends the tuna into such a frenzy that they bite at shiny, moving object, including the fisher’s lures.

    Live baitfish are thrown overboard to lure tuna into a feeding frenzy © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

    Live baitfish are thrown overboard to lure tuna into a feeding frenzy © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

    Indonesia

    • Transferring baitfish from the seapen to the baitwell © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

      Transferring baitfish from the seapen to the baitwell © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

      Indonesia

    • Pole-and-line fisher chumming © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

      Pole-and-line fisher chumming © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

      Indonesia

  • V

    Catching

    Fishers demonstrate their strength and dexterity with pole-and-line, sometimes working in pairs to fish larger tuna. Catching their targets one-by-one reduces the capture of juvenile tuna and non-target species.

    Fishers catching tuna one-by-one © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

    Fishers catching tuna one-by-one © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

    Indonesia

    • Pole-and-line fishing in action © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

      Pole-and-line fishing in action © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

      Indonesia

    • Fishers demonstrate their strength and dexterity with pole-and-line © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

      Fishers demonstrate their strength and dexterity with pole-and-line © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

      Indonesia

  • VI

    Logging

    One-by-one fishers log their catch data differently, depending on regulations and available resources, with most using a logbook or digital system to record data on the catch including tonnage, location, and bycatch.

    Self-reported data is only part of the story and in Indonesia, efforts are being made to validate and verify this information through third party methods such as independent port sampling, onboard observers and vessel trackers.

    Fisher and his tuna catch © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

    Fisher and his tuna catch © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

    Indonesia

    • Skipjack caught by pole-and-line © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

      Skipjack caught by pole-and-line © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

      Indonesia

    There is 1 collaborator on Logging

  • VII

    Storing

    Larger vessels store their tuna on capture in a refrigerated hold, while smaller vessels put the fish on ice in the boat hold after the decks have been cleared.

    Fishers celebrate their catch © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

    Fishers celebrate their catch © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

    Indonesia

    • Tuna is stored on ice after the fishing event © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

      Tuna is stored on ice after the fishing event © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

      Indonesia

  • VIII

    Keeping tradition afloat

    One-by-one fishing requires great strength, skill and perseverance from the fisher. With origins dating back several hundred years, these traditional techniques are regarded as the most socially and environmentally-responsible methods today. Many of the family-owned companies involved in the capture or post harvest processing of tuna fish have been involved in fishing for generations, passing knowledge and adapting to the changing industry.

    Pole-and-line fisher celebrates his catch © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

    Pole-and-line fisher celebrates his catch © Paul Hilton & IPNLF

    Indonesia

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