22 May Identifying Opportunities for Women to Support Sustainable Blue Swimming Crab Fisheries in Lampung

In many capture fisheries businesses in Indonesia, women appear at the forefront. Their roles are diverse, starting from collecting the day’s catch from landing sites, to processing valuable bycatch into saleable products. Everything is done to increase fishers, who are mainly men, tend to be the focus of programs meant to increase fishing families’ household incomes, which are mostly still below the poverty line.”

 In April 2021, CTC and partners conducted a collaborative survey to assess the need for capacity-building activities for women groups who manage blue swimming crab (BSC) fisheries in Lampung. The survey also sought opportunities to promote women’s roles in BSC fisheries and mainstream sustainable BSC fishing to the media through the “Rajungan untuk Masyarakat Sejahtera” (JUARA) campaign.

The field survey took place from April 22–30, 2021, covering two coastal villages, namely Kuala Teladas and Sungai Burung, in Tulang Bawang District. The team, which consisted of CTC, Photo Voice Indonesia (PVI) and Mitra Bentala, interviewed 22 respondents – eight of which were in Kuala Teladas and 14 in Sungai Burung. Although most of these respondents were women who work as local BSC fishers and pickers, some male fishers, traders and community leaders were interviewed, as well.

Highlighted findings from the survey include the existence of potential domestic fish-based products made by local women groups, such as crackers, pletik, meatballs and paste. These delicacies, however, are typically made occasionally, just to provide additional income when the BSC catch is low. Most respondents claimed that their products have never been sold outside the village due to the lack of confidence in the packaging quality, branding and food-labelling from local authorities.

“Our income from sorting BSC is usually IDR 100,000 per day (USD 7.00). If there is no catch, we don’t get income. Therefore, making crackers and snacks has become our alternative livelihood, especially during the low season,” said Juniati, one of the female fishers in Kuala Teladas Village.

From the survey result, it is clear that most women representatives in Lampung hope to gain more capacity-building training on product quality control, bookkeeping, marketing, and legal procedures. Hence, the products can be more consistent in term of quality, stable in price, and marketable in other areas. Eventually, it will lead to an increase in livelihood income and prosperity.

As a follow-up to this survey, CTC will design a specific training topic on the business model canvas, which covers business planning, production aspects and post-production activities of a business. This activity will target around 15 participants from each village and take place in July 2021 with the support of local governments at the provincial and district levels.

In addition, the Lampung Provincial Communication, Information and Statistics Agency and Marine Affairs and Fisheries Agency are supporting the implementation of the JUARA media campaign. The provincial government representatives expect that the campaign, which will be delivered in a short course for journalists on sustainable BSC fisheries, will take place in person in Bandar Lampung City while still following the national COVID-19 health protocol.

The short course is designed as a half-day event by putting forward materials about agreed umbrella- and cascading narratives on the importance of sustainable BSC capture fisheries, the economic value of BSC, and synchronization of BSC-related regulations at the national and local government levels. It will also present some on-the-ground testimonies from fishermen in Lampung about how they have abided by existing regulations on sustainable fishing practices and about how women groups have contributed in increasing the economic value of BSC.

By mainstreaming sustainable BSC capture fishery narratives in the media, all key stakeholders will be more concerned and aware of the importance of good fishery management to maintain wild stocks in the future. The narratives are also designed to engage media, policy makers and the public in general to support the market leadership approach for more sustainable BSC fishery management.

Photo by: Yoga Putra/CTC

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