INDONESIA: Attendees at this year’s 3rd Bali Tuna Conference (BTC) and 6th International Coastal Tuna Business Forum (ICTBF) events will be the first stakeholders to learn specific details of the harvest strategy for tropical tuna in archipelagic waters. Developed by the Indonesian authorities, this much-awaited policy is a vital component in the implementation of sustainable fisheries management. These consecutive, top-level events will provide the ideal platform for delegates to help influence its delivery.
Work on a draft harvest strategy and a harvest control rule for skipjack and yellowfin tuna in Fisheries Management Areas (FMAs) 713, 714, and 715 began in December 2014. National efforts have been led by Indonesia’s Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF), the Directorate of Fish Resource Management, the Directorate General of Capture Fisheries and relevant stakeholders and progressed through several technical meetings and consultations.
“A lot of time and endeavour has already gone into getting the harvest strategy framework and the defining of the harvest control rule to the stages that they are now at. At this year’s Bali Tuna Conference and International Coastal Tuna Business Forum, the ‘Interim Harvest Strategy Document’ will be revealed for the first time. Because it will have consequences across the whole tuna sector, it’s very important that as many stakeholders as possible attend these meetings. Their understanding and engagement will help to ensure a thorough consultation phase, while the harvest strategy will show supply chains that Indonesian tuna is sustainable and managed responsibly to international standards,” says Trian Yunanda of MMAF.
In having a harvest strategy in place, Indonesia’s fishery managers will be able to act swiftly and efficiently within a pre-agreed framework to ensure that tuna harvests do not exceed acceptable limits. This will safeguard the sustainability of the resources and the consistent supply of fish to communities and markets. Once successfully implemented in FMA 713, 714, and 715, the intention is to replicate the strategy in other Indonesian waters and with other species.
In addition to the development of the harvest strategy, the Indonesian Government has identified four further tuna fishery priorities for 2018: improvements of the tuna data collection and the vessel registration systems; the development of a fish aggregating device (FAD) management plan; the development of electronic reporting systems; and revision of the regulations for tuna fishing activities on the high seas. Delegates at this year’s BTC and ICTBF can therefore look forward to an update on these important government policies. It will also provide them with a better understanding of the opportunities to connect these Indonesian fisheries with international markets and give them better insights of related social programmes and initiatives. The conferences will open with an official address from Honourable Susi Pudjiastuti, Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of the Republic of Indonesia.
“As Indonesia is the world’s leading tuna producing nation with currently 571,000 tonnes per year, not only do these two successful events provide an important platform through which we demonstrate the very important socio-economic contributions that our tuna fisheries make, they also allow the Government of Indonesia to show the long-term support that it is providing to the tuna value chain. In addition, these events present the perfect opportunity for international brands and retailers interested in sourcing tuna from Indonesia to build relationships with local stakeholders,” says Trian Yunanda.
BTC and ICTBF were first incorporated into a single programme in 2016 – bringing diverse but interrelated sectors even closer together to ensure the ecologically, socially and economically sustainable development of Indonesia’s tuna fisheries. Leading international tuna brands and retailers who are looking to establish improved access to sustainable tuna resources will attend the events, where they will be joined by members of the commercial catching and processing sectors, NGOs and government officials.