Vietnam FIP: Observer program & Distribution of Circle Hooks

April 2017

Phu Yen, Vietnam

As part of the activities planned for the Vietnam Yellowfin Tuna Fishery Improvement Project (FIP), WWF Vietnam is coordinating the development of a National Observer Program in Vietnam, in cooperation with Sub-RIMF (Sub-Research Institute of Marine Fisheries), Sub-DFish, Industry FIP partners and fishermen.

One of the goals of the observer program in Vietnam is to trial and evaluate the use, implementation and effectiveness of circle hooks in tuna fisheries. As a FIP partner, Anova financially supported the observer training sessions and the purchase of circle hooks. The use of circle hooks is a widely adopted measure to mitigate the bycatch of sea turtles. In March 2017, one thousand circle hooks were distributed to 2 longline vessels in order to conduct a trial (use 50% C-hooks and 50% J-hooks). The goal of the trial is to show fishermen the benefits of using circle hooks and encourage them to do the switch.

A second observer training was conducted in February 2017 to train 2 observers recruited from Sub-RIMF (the scientific branch of the Vietnamese Fishery of Ministry). Following those 2 training sessions, 2 observer trips were organized. Observers from sub-RIMF were sent on the first trip. During the second trip, volunteer fishermen were trained by WWF and sent out sea. These observers left for a 30 to 38 day fishing trip in February 2017. The results of this trip are in the process of be analysed.

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