National observer program is one of Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) tools to collect data besides logbook program. Observer on-board program is mandatory especially for vessel above 30GT particularly for purse seiner and long liner. This program is really important to support Indonesia fisheries management based on robust data. This is also important for AP2HI towards eco-certification which it have to be able verify its collecting data process.
AP2HI and its member supported supported this program since 2016 by deploying national observer on its member even for vessel under 30GT. The coverage of deployment including PT. Aneka Sumber Tata Bahari, PT. Bintang Mandiri Bersaudara dan PT. Radios Apirja Sorong.
It was known that the method of data collecting conducted by observer was not covering the data element needed for pole and line fishing activity. Bait data, number of pole, FAD related, etc are not covered by observer on board currently. Therefore, in this year of 2017, AP2HI under support of PT. Hatfield Indonesia (PTHI) and International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF) attempt have been made to update and enhance current observer protocol particularly for pole and line vessel. This new protocol basically adopted the regional observer program protocol issued by Regional Fisheries Management Organization (RFMO).
During the protocol development, several meetings had been conducted with Directorate General of Capture Fisheries (DJPT) and Research Centre for Capture Fisheries (Pusriskan) of MMAF to discuss the draft protocol, and at the end, the draft was eventually discussed in a workshop which bring DJPT and Pusriskan sitting together to finalize the draft.
This protocol was introduced to the national observer on 2 (two) observer upgrading workshops held in Bitung on 25th – 28th April 2017 and in Tegal on 16th – 19th May 2017, total 60 observers was participated. After the workshop, at the moment AP2HI is targeting observer deployment for 10% of its trip by this new protocol for 6 months until September 2017.