(26/1) Jakarta. After struggling for 7 years, the Indonesian Pole and Line and Handline Fisheries Association (AP2HI) finally won the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Fisheries certificate.
To be MSC-certified means that the fishery must demonstrate healthy fish stocks, minimize the impact on the environment and have effective management.
The success of this certification demonstrates the great achievement of the Indonesian Pole and Line and Handline Fisheries Association (AP2HI) and its close partner the International Pole and Line Foundation (IPNLF) as the initial initiator to promote sustainable fisheries, especially small-scale yellowfin and skipjack tuna fisheries under this certification.
“Working together towards sustainable fisheries has been our commitment since 2012. Association certification is a synergy between the industry collectively with the support of the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, local governments, companies, IPNLF and other stakeholders–which adds value to stock management, sustainable skipjack and yellowfin tuna. Even though 2020 was marked by a pandemic that also affected the tuna business in Indonesia, this certification is a new beginning. We believe this certification encourages other fisheries association members to continue to develop sustainable and traceable fishing practices. ” Said Janti Djuari, Chairwoman of AP2HI.
With this certification, small scale fisheries and cooperating industries are expected to exist in the long term. In its achievement, AP2HI works with IPNLF in carrying out the Fisheries Improvement Project so that tuna fisheries in Indonesia can be managed sustainably.
60% of the certified 11,000 tonnes is yellowfin tuna, which is distributed as loin, poke (pronounced poh-Keh) and saku, while certified skipjack is sold as frozen and canned products to export markets.
The certification involves eight fisheries, consisting of 380 fishing vessels—which are spread across several locations in Indonesia, from North Sulawesi and North Maluku to the Banda Sea, and East and West Flores.
Acting Director-General of Capture Fisheries M. Zaini said that this certification also serves to monitor fishing so that fishing remains at the level of global best practice with good stock management. The fishery has fulfilled eight objectives and must continue this commitment over a period of five years to maintain its certificate of stock and management.
“Of course, the support of all relevant stakeholders for small-scale tuna fisheries is very important in accelerating the process towards fisheries sustainability. Indonesia is proud to currently have the third fishery that meets the highest fisheries sustainability standards, “added Zaini
The assessment was carried out by an independent assessor, NSF International, followed by a detailed assessment and stakeholder consultation by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC)—an agency that is responsible for 60% of the world’s tuna catches—as well as the Central and Provincial governments.
In 2018, AP2HI and the Directorate General of Capture Fisheries (DJPT-MMAF) signed a Cooperation Agreement. The agreement contains an understanding on how industry and the Government will work together to improve fisheries, especially tuna and skipjack fisheries with Pole and Line and Handline fishing gear. Through this agreement, MMAF and AP2HI are working to ensure sustainable tuna availability, to reduce the impact on the environment and to support sustainable fisheries management.
Director of Fish Resources Management, Directorate General of Capture Fisheries, Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the Republic of Indonesia, Trian Yunanda also said that Indonesia had succeeded in showing its commitment to sustainable tuna fishing in the world.
“Indonesia can now be proud because we already have the third fishery that has succeeded in meeting the highest standards of fisheries sustainability,” said Trian.
In line with Trian, Abrizal Ang, Vice President Operation of PT. Samudra Mandiri Sentosa, as well as a representative of the Pole and Line company, also said that this certification is scientific proof of Indonesia’s traditional fisheries that the world must know.
“Sustainable fishing practices that have been carried out from generation to generation have finally received worldwide recognition, and we hope that, with this certification, Indonesian traditional fishermen will be more prosperous, and environmentally friendly fishery products will continue to be the main choice for everyone,” he explained.
Hartono Tjandrason President Director of PT. Nutrindo Fresfood Internasional, a representative from handline companies stated that the MSC fishery certification is a manifestation of the world recognition that Indonesia implements the use of natural resources in an environmentally friendly way, which in this case is practicing sustainable fisheries.
“We hope is that this will not only end in recognition, but our fishery products will also be more appreciated so that it can help improve the welfare of Indonesian fishermen,” Hartono said.
Jeremy Crawford, Southeast Asia Director of IPNLF also said that IPNLF is pleased to be part of this important process of building value in the local one-by-one tuna supply chain. With the support of MMAF, IPNLF has been able to realize significant improvements in fisheries operations, governance, and in securing livelihoods. IPNLF members and supply chain partners, such as AP2HI, play a valuable role in ensuring that the pillars of sustainability—environmental, social and economic benefits—stay at the forefront of our operations. This is the only way to ensure that these vulnerable communities can maintain access to food security and economic well-being in the long term.