Indonesia pole-and-line tuna fisheries aim for MSC
Indonesia’s pole-and-line and handline skipjack and yellowfin tuna fisheries are aiming to be in full Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) assessment by the end of this year, the nation’s Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) announced on Thursday.
Its commitment follows last week’s 4th International Coastal Tuna Business Forum (ICTBF), an annual event that joins key players in the market, government, NGOs and industry. The Bali forum cemented on-going dialogue amongst stakeholders, resulting in the decision to enter MSC this year, announced by Saut Hutagalung, director general of fisheries product processing and marketing at MMAF.
“The internationally respected MSC eco-label will provide a solid foundation for the long-term viability of our country’s traditional fishing communities and will lead to much improved market access for our responsibly-caught tuna,” says Saut Hutagalung.
“IPNLF and our partners have been working closely with Saut Hutagalung and MMAF over recent years,” added Andrew Harvey, country director of International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF). “MMAF, with NGO and industry support, have been active champions of their own fisheries, demonstrating the government’s commitment to sustainability and they deserve recognition for their dedication and hard work, in the same way that the fishers deserve recognition for theirs.”
The pole-and-line and hand-line fisheries in Indonesia are currently engaged in Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs), which have just undergone their annual review. The FIPs represent collaborative action between industry, MMAF and NGOs such as WWF-Indonesia, Masyarakat dan Perikanan Indonesia (MDPI), Fishing & Living, International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF) and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP).
“MDPI, as an organization which works closely with industry — specifically with fishermen — is hopeful with regards to this collaborative approach to potential MSC certification in Indonesia. The small-scale fishermen and the industries that support them need to get recognition for their good work towards sustainability over recent years, work which includes improving data, traceability and co-management in the communities,” said Aditya Utama Surono, executive director of MDPI.
The client for MSC certification will be Asosiasi Perikanan Pole & Line dan Handline Indonesia (AP2HI), a fishery association that acts as a unified voice for the country’s pole-and-line and handline industry.