The Importance of Code of Conduct and Industry Compliance in Supporting Sustainable Fisheries
There are requirements to be followed by business owners in Indonesia in running a fishery business. This criterion ranges from business legality, fishery product quality, environmental impacts to social aspects. The requirements are from various sources such as local government regulations, central government, buyer requests, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) etc.
AP2HI and members has a common mutually agreed rule of thumb that must be followed: AP2HI Code of Conduct. Each AP2HI member has a guide on minimum standards to be achieved that assist them in a stipulated timeframe to prepare in meeting the various requirement to realize a sustainable business.
AP2HI’s code of conduct has undergone several changes to adapt the development of the business world. These are summarized as follows:
Code of Conduct (2016)
Code of Conduct that was first agreed upon by AP2HI members refers to the prevailing regulations in Indonesia, (Code of Conduct of Responsible Fisheries/CCRF) FAO and CMM RFMO. The Code of Conduct covered various aspects such as: fishing gear, operation of vessels, bait fisheries management, good fish handling and processing, Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP) and human resource development.
Code of Conduct (2018)
In 2018, AP2HI made improvements to the Code of Conduct by simplifying grammar and strengthening its clauses which includes the addition of new aspects related to employment, traceability, FAD management, and pollution management on vessels.
Code of Conduct (2020)
More update was carried out in 2020 with the addition of employment sub-clauses from 3 sub-clauses to 7 sub-clauses. A clause regarding Branding was also added.
Compliance Monitoring is required to render the Code of Conduct to be effective. Monitoring requires an organization that has good evaluation standards. In 2018, AP2HI supported by its strategic partner, the International Pole & line Foundation (IPNLF), to build an internal audit procedure for Code of Conduct, followed by conducting pilot trials for two companies in 2019.
Based on the trial results, several improvements and updates were made to the internal audit procedures. Finally, at AP2HI’s 2020 General Meeting, this new audit scheme was approved by all members to later be fully implemented in 2021.
Throughout 2021, 47 member companies participated in Code of Conduct audit activities with most companies (60%) categorized as low risk in the result. 31% were in the medium-risk, and there were still 8% of companies that entered the high-risk category. AP2HI applied a mechanism to improve companies that are in high and medium-risk category to push them into low-risk within a certain period. The mechanism to review membership status and the inability to use of ecolabel certificates owned by the association is also applied to member companies in the high-risk category.
With the implementation of Code of Conduct audit mechanism for AP2HI members, supported by all parties, we hope this effort can support the maintenance of fisheries sustainability with established standards for business continuity and well-maintained supply of raw materials.