Binh Dinh Province, Vietnam, Dec. 3, 2014
Hosted by the Binh Dinh Province Sub-Department of Capture Fisheries and Resource Protection (DECAFIREP) and the Tam Quan Village Peoples Committee, a Community Discussion Group was held at the town hall. Invited to the meeting were stakeholders in the local hook and line tuna fishery based in Tam Quan port. These stakeholders included fishers and vessel owners, local government and fisheries authorities, local tuna traders, representatives of WWF Vietnam (WWF VN) and WWF Coral Triangle Programme (WWF CTP) and representatives from Sea Delight.
The subject of the Community Meeting was to open dialogue on the new Vietnam Tuna Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) and explore ideas on how to work on some important milestones from the FIP Work Plan. The specific tasks on the agenda were improving traceability from vessel to end user, improving the number of vessels filling out WCPFC catch data logbooks, improving the quality of the logbook data being collected and exploring the possibility of training members of the local fishing community to be onboard observers. All proceedings were translated into Vietnamese or English as required.
Highlights of the meeting were presentations by Binh Dinh Sub-DECAFIREP head, Ms. Mai Kim Thi on the current tuna fishery and community in Tam Quan, by Mr. Keith Symington of WWF CTP on the concept of a FIP and the Vietnam FIP in particular, and by Ms. Nguyen Dieu Thuy of WWF VN on onboard observer programs.
Sea Delight representative Stephen Fisher kicked off the community discussion with a short presentation on traceability, logbook coverage and observer training.
The subjects were well received by all participants and resulted in lively discussions and many useful suggestions on how to tackle the FIP tasks.
Local government officials expressed full support for the FIP and the work plan tasks and promised cooperation. The fishers and vessel captains all supported efforts to improve traceability and logbook coverage. 100% of the fishers present advised they already were filling out the WCPFC logbook on each trip, but admitted the quality of data being entered could be improved.
Many local stakeholders were interested in the concept of training onboard observers from the fishing community. Several vessel captains volunteered to undertake the training. Others in the meeting reminded them that it was difficult to run a fishing boat and conduct complicated observer work, like taking photos and measuring fish length, at the same time. Others wanted to know how much an observer earned. Sea Delight expressed support for the program and a willingness to participate in both looking for candidates for observer training and assisting in the actual training sessions.
The next steps for the tuna FIP and Sea Delight are to work with the tuna supply chain to improve and standardize traceability systems and to begin training of onboard observers and port enumerators for actual deployment next year.
Full reports on this upcoming activity will appear here on the Sea Delight website.
Tuna unloading on the dock at Tam Quan