June 25, 2013
On June 5, 2013 representatives of Sea Delight and WWF Indonesia Seafood Savers traveled to the fishing port of Sendang Biru, Malang, East Java, Indonesia. They went to follow up on recent significant improvements in the management of the fishery and hold meetings with government representatives and members of the fishing community.
Sea Delight is now happy to report there has been significant progress in the East Java fishery in several key areas of the June, 2012, Revised Seafood Savers Tuna FIP Action Plan. Specifically the plan calls for Sea Delight to “implement measures regulated in Province/District fishery management plan as a patron on the development and implementation in the area.”
Sea Delight and Seafood Savers have been working hard to communicate the need for better data collection, based on the implementation of Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) onboard logbooks and better port landing data collection to all stakeholders in the East Java fishery.
Officer Agus Muntihartono, Sea Delight’s Stephen Fisher and Sumbermanjing Head of Port, Goentoro Soepardi
While this effort received strong support at the national level with the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) it was difficult to implement at the community level in Sendang Biru, due to the added workload perceived by the fishermen in keeping the onboard logbooks and the lack of local or provincial government support, and funding, for the program.
Other issues were the continued allowance of vessels of above 5 Gross Tons (GT) to operate unlicensed as under 5 GT vessels and the allowance of fisher’s to deploy and use Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) without registering their location with MMAF.
All of this began to change with the recent opening of an office of the Government of East Java “Dinas Perikanan Dan Kelautan” (DKP – Department of Fisheries and Marine) in East Java, appointing Mr. Goentoro Soepardi, to lead Sumbermanjing Port in Sendang Biru. He has worked closely with the local fishing community with promising results.
WWF Indonesia Seafood Savers representative Muhammad Maskur Tamanyira (with computer) leads a stakeholder’s meeting with local fishers on tuna onboard handling
Discussions with local community members about data collection and onboard quality control
All vessels in the fleet have been made aware of the onboard logbook program and are in the process of implementing it. Logbook data is being collected and compiled by the uniformed officers of the DKP. A program of free vessel registration has already registered more than 1/3 of the local tuna fleet with more vessels being registered each day. Mr. Soepardi also reported that all vessels have registered the location of their FADs and are following the national regulation on placing them at the recommended interval of a minimum of 10 nautical miles apart.
The FIP Action Plan also calls on Sea Delight to “increase high fish quality which can lead to reduction of overfishing”. To this end the Sea Delight representatives translated the South Pacific Commission’s “On-board Handling for Sashimi-Grade Tuna” into Indonesian and distributed copies among fishing community members.
Both fishers and fish dealers expressed interest in the improved handling methods and said they have already started doing some of them. Some also expressed frustration in current low beach prices and said they would do the complete “Best Practice” if they got more money for the fish. The Sea Delight and WWF Seafood Savers told them that if they improve quality prices will increase as buyers realize the fish are better.
PRAKTIK YANG BAIK:
A section from the onboard handling guide
A fresh tuna loin from the Sendang Biru fishery
In interviews with local fish dealers and fishermen this report found growing community acceptance of the logbook system, improving catch quality and sincere interest in protecting and managing their fishery. In the following day, Seafood Savers WWF-ID and Sea Delight representatives, invited in Mr. Budi’s residence to share the onboard handling guide and WWF-ID Tuna Handline BMP document. So far, they are interested to documents we’ve shared. Hopefully in short, real progress can be measured in the East Java Handline Tuna Fishery FIP.