Maldives – Home of Sustainable Tuna Fishing
Tuna is the nation’s favourite food in the Maldives, forming the basis of many traditional dishes – for breakfast, lunch and dinner too! Also a familiar and much-loved food around the world, tuna is under threat due to over fishing but the waters surrounding Kuredu Resort Maldives have an abundant supply thanks to the sustainable fishing methods used in our country.
2nd May is World Tuna Day, it is celebrated annually with the aim of highlighting the importance of tuna in the marine ecosystem and the need to ensure fishing practices are sustainable, and although they are here in the Maldives, many other countries do not use methods that protect the species or the environment.
The art of pole and line fishing has been passed down through the generations here in the Maldives for centuries. The fishermen line up at the back of the dhoni, baitfish and water are sprinkled at the surface to create the illusion of prey for the tune which are then lured in to hunt. The excitement then begins as the fishermen cast their rods with barbless hooks into the water and once feel feel a bite, they quickly swing the pole overhead and the tuna crash lands onto the deck behind them, this is repeated over and over again for hours, catching just one tuna at a time. It is very rare that any other species are caught accidentally, which is great news for out turtles, rays, sharks and dolphins. Pole and line fishing is labour-intensive and a refined art, we are very proud of this traditional method that keeps the marine environment safe and it is unfortunate that it is not widespread in other nations.
The worldwide overfishing of tuna is a huge problem as when a species is removed in large numbers from any ecosystem, the delicate balance of nature is destroyed. The marine ecosystem is especially fragile and must be protected. Tuna are predators that eat smaller fish and invertebrates, they are also prey, a food source for larger marine life, such as sharks and whales. If the predator/prey populations are not kept in balance, entire food chains can be destroyed and lead to the eventual loss of many other species. By preventing overfishing by using methods such as those here in the Maldives, not only do we protect the marine ecosystems, we safeguard tuna supplies for the future. Please help by ensuring the tuna you eat is sustainably caught, preferably by the pole and line method.
Make sure you try the delicious locally caught tuna on our menus at Far East, Teppanyaki, Beach Shack or on a special dinner trip to 5.8 Undersea Restaurant at Hurawalhi and on the buffet tables at Kuredu too. To gain a fascinating insight into the tuna industry here in the Maldives, book a visit to the atoll’s tuna factory. Tuna are regular seen by our scuba divers too, swimming effortlessly in even the strongest of currents, these big silver fish look like torpedos in the water – look out for them when diving the outer reefs, channels and corners!