09 Mar Building Capacity to Support the Snapper-Grouper Fisheries Improvement Program
The Banda Sea in the Maluku Islands of Indonesia, connected to the Pacific Ocean, has rich fishery potential, specifically for coastal demersal fish like snapper and grouper. To optimize the pivotal role of local stakeholders in ensuring sustainable snapper-grouper fisheries practices in the Banda Sea, CTC and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) conducted an online training about fisheries standards.
Current study shows that Indonesia has consistently contributed to the world’s snapper fisheries, at around 45% of the total volume of snapper traded worldwide. Indonesia also ranked second as the world’s grouper producer in 2018 with an export volume of 6,794 tons. For this reason, the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) of the Republic of Indonesia has issued a harvest strategy document for snapper and grouper fisheries as the main reference for national responsible fishing practices and sustainable fish management in the Indonesian Fisheries Management Areas (FMAs) in March 2020.
The MSC Level 1 capacity-building training was held on 09-10 March 2021 and attended by participants from various backgrounds such as fishermen, academics, and local non-governmental organizations in three provinces of Jakarta, Bali, and Maluku. During the two-day training, all participants received materials on the principles of the MSC fisheries standard and Chain of Custody (CoC) standard, and they carried out some online collaborative exercises and discussions.
On the first day of training, participants were introduced to the MSC fisheries standard, Risk-based Framework (RBF), correlation between MSC and fisheries improvements, and fisheries improvement tools. The MSC fisheries standard is based on three core principles: the sustainability of exploited fish stocks, maintenance of the ecosystem on which the fishery depends, and effective and responsible fishery management. This standard is applicable to all wild-capture fisheries in the world.
“The MSC Level-1 capacity-building training is very useful for local fishermen like us because it brings new information and knowledge about world-wide fisheries standards. We hope that fisheries in the Banda Sea can apply these standards and be officially certified. Therefore, all fishermen can have market certainty and increase the selling value of the fish for improved social welfare,” said Hamen Minggu, a fisherman from Rhun Island, after the training.
The training material for the second day covered five principles of the CoC standard, three versions of the CoC standard, and preparations for a fishery audit. Being able to fulfil these standards means that the fishery unit can obtain the MSC ecolabel and CoC certificate. Thus, it is ensured that any fishery products produced by this fishery unit are environmentally friendly, come from a sustainable practice, and are traceable throughout all stages of the supply chain cycle.
Through this training, it is hoped that all fisheries stakeholders in the Banda Sea can be more familiar with various MSC standards and have a deeper understanding about the importance of the standards to support the snapper-grouper fisheries improvement program (FIP) in Indonesia. Through the FIP, snapper and grouper fisheries can continue to be sustainably maintained as national commodities and be utilized with full responsibility. The capture fisheries sector is worth more attention as has been one of the sectors that has supported the resilience of coastal communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.