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At the KSSA group, business leaders, politicians and academics came together to protect and promote the katsuo culture

IPNLF welcomes its first Japanese member

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Monday, June 17, 2019, 21:00 (GMT + 9)

The Kochi Sustainable Skipjack Association joins the international one-by-one tuna supply chain network as it looks to preserve the local food culture

The Kochi Sustainable Skipjack Association (KSSA) has become the latest Member of the International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF), the non-profit association that is committed to developing and supporting responsible one-by-one tuna fisheries and supply chains.

Kochi prefecture in Japan is located directly on the Pacific Ocean and the people particularly love skipjack tuna (Katsuo in Japanese). The skipjack always plays a main role for local food culture. (Photo: KSSA)

Founded two years ago by a passionate group of business leaders, politicians and academics, KSSA represents the interests of Kochi’s pole-and-line skipjack tuna fishery and the people that it has supported for hundreds of years. A critical element of this effort is about working with fisheries managers to make sure the skipjack population remains healthy and sufficiently abundant to protect this vibrant culture.  

KSSA has very quickly built support for the fishery and the local tuna resource. For example, its annual skipjack tuna festival is already attracting more than 15,000 people from all over Japan. The association also works beyond the Kochi prefecture – helping to safeguard, promote and develop one-by-one fishing traditions all over the world.

Pole-and-line fishing vessel, Nakatosa, Japan (Photo: © IPNLF)

Hiroyuki Ukeda, Vice President of KSSA, says, “Living on the Pacific coast, the people of Kochi have a natural respect for the ocean and for all of the wonderful seafood that it has provided for countless generations. The people here particularly love skipjack tuna, or ‘Katsuo’ as it’s known in Japan. Indeed, this fish has always had the most iconic place in our local food culture. Unfortunately, while Pacific Ocean catches have increased steadily since 2000, our fishers have seen their landings decline over recent years. This makes supporting our traditional pole-and-line fishery more important than ever. By joining IPNLF and working alongside its other Members, we believe we can give this fishery a much stronger public voice.”

Through its IPNLF membership, KSSA joins a growing network of tuna supply chain stakeholders from all over the world that are supporting its work to enhance the supply of one-by-one caught tuna, and strengthening the value that these fisheries bring to the coastal environments and communities connected to them.

Jeremy Crawford, Southeast Asia Director at IPNLF, comments, “We are delighted to welcome KSSA and the pole-and-line fishermen and communities that it represents into our Member network. Although KSSA’s engagement extends IPNLF’s reach into another important region, the challenges they face are common across many other one-by-one tuna fisheries around the world; especially the impact that heavy industrialised tuna fishing has on their long-term survival. We want to help protect the heritage of these traditional fisheries so that they can have a long, sustainable and prosperous future.”

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