USAID Oceans leads roundtable discussing sustainability in Southeast Asia
The United States Agency of International Development’s (USAID) Oceans and Fisheries Partnership led a business roundtable discussing sustainable and traceable fisheries in Southeast Asia, and how private sector commitments could benefit the region.
The gathering, which took place in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., was organized by the U.S. Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia. Titled “Oceans Dialogue: Expanding Collaboration for Our Oceans,” the focus was on sustainable, traceable fishing and marine pollution in one of the world’s largest fisheries.
USAID created the Oceans and Fisheries Partnership in 2015, with the goal of bringing various organizations and governments together to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing in addition to increasing traceability and sustainability in Southeast Asia.
“The partnerships seen between the public and private sector since USAID Oceans’ launch in 2015 are truly inspiring and bring hope to a complex, multinational challenge,” said Richard Goughnour, acting mission director of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s regional development mission for Asia. “Industry commitments to sustainable production can contribute to saving our oceans and can also support prosperity and enhanced livelihoods not only in the region, but around the world.”
The roundtable discussion featured panelists from multiple parts of the industry and government in the region: Director General Rifky Effendi Hardijanto of Indonesia’s Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF), Roxanne Nanninga of Thai Union, Natalie Webster of the International Pole and Line Foundation and American Albacore Fishing Association, Helen Packer of Anova Food USA, and Farid Maruf of USAID Oceans.
Discussion centered around traceability within the region as a means to enhance sustainability.
“Tracing seafood from harvest to entry into international markets is critical for these sustainability efforts as it enables transparency and accountability in supply chains, thereby allowing businesses and consumers to purchase seafood products that can be verified as legal, equitable, and sustainable,” USAID said in a release about the discussion.
USAID is partnering with the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, focusing on developing financially sustainable electronic traceability systems, which are being piloted in Indonesia and the Philippines.
"Thanks to our participation with USAID Oceans, we have made significant progress towards our commitment of sustainable and fully registered traceable fisheries in our supply chain,” said Helen Packer, Anova’s science and sustainability coordinator. “For Anova, its supply chain and valued customers, sustainability, social responsibility and traceability are the core elements of our business model. Our goal is to ensure that marine ecosystems and the communities that depend on them thrive now and into the future.”
The goal of the roundtable was to encourage sector commitments ahead of USAID’s annual “Our Oceans Conference,” which will take place 29 and 30 October, 2018, in Bali, Indonesia.