Binh Dinh DECAFIREP (Fisheries Ministry) Launches First Onboard Observer Trip With Cooperation of WWF/Sea Delight BFPI

It‘s been busy for the stakeholders in the Vietnam hook and line tuna fishery. It is the peak of tuna season and landings are good for the 90% of tuna fishers who have given up longline fishing for more productive, and profitable, handline fishing.

Those Fishermen who have joined the WWF Vietnam, WWF Coral Triangle and Sea Delight Better Fishing Practice Initiative (BFPI) are now being given the chance to try top-quality imported # 14 C hooks for the first time. The hooks are slightly larger, and slightly stronger, than the # 13 C hooks distributed earlier in the course of the BFPI. Some of the fishers are still out fishing with the new hooks but for those that have tried them the #14’s have been given the “thumbs up”.

The Binh Dinh Department of Capture Fisheries and Resource Protection (DECAFIREP) have also launched the first of several on board observer trips as part of the BFPI. These trips are specifically targeted to continue and perfect the use of Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission-designed onboard log books and to educate the fishers on the best handling practice for handline caught tuna.

Sea Delight’s primary tuna supplier in Vietnam arranged expert master tuna fishermen to come to Binh Dinh and educate the newly converted handline fisher folk on how to best catch and handle onboard handline caught tuna. the techniques taught include fast killing, bleeding and gutting of the tuna, followed by a soak in super-cold ice brine to get the fish core temperature down FAST.

Binh Dinh DECAFIREP arranged for trained fisheries’ observer Mr. Nguyen Ly An, to accompany a handline trip to demonstrate the new handling technique. The fish from the trip, landed April 19, 2013 were then packed in ice and trucked directly to Sea Delight’s supplier for detailed quality evaluation.

The results were very promising. Of the 21 tuna landed on the short trip all were of high enough grade for processing into Sea Delight products and 19 were of high enough grade to be made into prized frozen sashimi.