Fair Trade Yellowfin Tuna

Indonesian Handline Yellowfin Tuna

Handline is an artisanal fishing method employed by thousands of fishermen across Indonesia. Handline tuna fishing is inherently sustainable and, environmentally friendly as it means virtually no bycatch and therefore very low risks to protected species such as marine mammals, turtles, and sharks.

The handline fishing gear consists of a single nylon line and a single hook operated by one fisherman. Fishermen use both artificial and live bait to attract tunas.

When the strike comes, fishermen must be determined and patient as the tug of war can last up to two hours. As the fish tires, the contest is over and the large tuna is pulled out of the water and packed in ice in the fish hold until it is brought back to the port.

Fishermen leave before dawn to catch bait. As the sun comes up, they start looking for birds that they use as guides as birds often feed on the same surface baitfish as yellowfin tuna do.

Indonesian Fair Trade Tuna and Community Impact

Today, 100’s of fishermen around Eastern Indonesia are Fair Trade certified. This means that they are members of fisherman associations and receive a premium for their catch.

In the afternoon, fishermen will start their journey home. As they approach their village, their families and friends are waiting for them on the beach to help them pull their boat back onshore using logs on which their small canoe slides over.

Since October 2014, Fair Trade fishing communities have received over $500,000 in market premiums. The FT Premium is used to improve life and living conditions in the fishing communities such as; clean water education, community infrastructure, health insurance and environmental awareness. It also supports the fishermen in buying GPS and safety at sea equipment.

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