The deep sea snapper-grouper fishery in Indonesia is one of the primary commodities for export, with an annual production of 119 thousand tons which supplies markets worldwide and makes Indonesia the country with the most significant production of snapper and grouper in the world. As an archipelagic country, Indonesia's fisheries sector is indeed one of the industries that contribute to national economic growth, supporting the lives of 60 percent of Indonesia's population. Strategic and technological innovations have also become the basis for maintaining the availability of fish stocks in natural ecosystems, which support the sustainability of the fishing industry.
Became the main agenda in the workshop titled "Innovation and Collaboration: Synergy Towards Sustainable Deep Sea Snapper-Grouper Fisheries" at Anvaya Beach Resort, Bali, on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. This event was held to learn and disseminate the achievements of the USAID collaboration program Supporting Nature and People–Partnership for Enduring Resources (SNAPPER) and Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN), which has been running for six years.
To support the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the Republic of Indonesia (KKP), since 2016, under USAID SNAPPER activities, YKAN has developed innovations that support sustainable fisheries management. This collaboration is in coordination with the Government of Indonesia, and the innovations generated through this activity can contribute to the efforts of the Indonesian government in managing the utilization of fish resources.
In opening this workshop, Director of Fish Resources Management DJPT-KKP Dr. Ir. Ridwan Mulyana, MT, emphasized, "The Indonesian government is committed to supporting the sustainability of the fisheries sector by considering ecological and economic values in the utilization of fish resources in Indonesian waters, one of which is by developing and implementing Harvest Strategy for snapper and grouper fisheries."
Ridwan Mulyana continued that currently, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries focuses on implementing the blue economy through a measured fishing policy (PIT) with the following characteristics: a quantitatively measurable fisheries business system from upstream to downstream; implementation of the quota system from the fishing permit is granted to ensure the utilization of fish resources is appropriate, not excessive, and does not exceed the allowable limit; and changes in the approach to allocating fish resources from control input to control output; as well as optimizing Non-Tax State Revenues from managing output-based revenues at fishing ports and fish landing centers.
On the same occasion, the Director of the Fisheries Program at the Nusantara Nature Conservation Foundation, Dr. Peter Mous, explained that the activities in the six-year collaboration took into account the conditions of deep sea snapper and grouper fisheries in Indonesia which involve various species and use multiple fishing gears. "Determining the abundance status of fisheries and avoiding overfishing has been a challenge in itself," he said.
"The US Government is pleased to be able to support the Government of Indonesia's goal of creating healthy and well-managed marine ecosystems while protecting the sustainability of fish supplies and fishermen's livelihoods," added USAID Indonesia Environment Office Director Brian Dusza.
The workshop, which consisted of two discussion sessions, presented experts as presenters, namely Prof. Dr. Indra Jaya, Chairman of the National Commission for the Study of Fish Resources-National (KomnasKajiskan); Dr. Fayakun Satria, Head of Fisheries Researcher at BRIN/BRPL; Risal Pramana, Director of PT Solusi Laut Lestari; and Dr. Tri Handayani, A. P.i, M. Si., Coordinator of the Surveillance and Product Certification Group, Center for Quality Control of the Fish Quarantine Agency, Quality Control and Safety of Fishery Products at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
Innovation for sustainable fisheries
In the deep sea grouper snapper fishery, several types of fish are starting to be vulnerable to overfishing. This fishery includes more than 100 species, but data on catch and effort is limited. Some fish species are difficult to identify correctly because of the similarities between species. In some cases, the taxonomy needs to be clarified. This is a challenge in stock assessment and determining the status of fisheries conditions, as well as additional work for fishing companies that continue to need help to meet the requirements for the correct naming of fish.
One of the main innovations developed by USAID SNAPPER is the use of the Crew-Operated Data Recording System (CODRS). CODRS is an innovative method for recording and conducting an efficient and informative analysis of fishing practices based on catch length. YKAN has involved more than 400 deep-sea grouper fishermen. Fishers contribute to providing real-time information on fishing grounds and comprehensive data on the total catch per fishing route.
In 2019, YKAN also launched the Fishery Improvement Program (FIP) for deep sea snapper and grouper fisheries towards Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification. Through the YKAN FIP platform, it is hoped that SNAPPER will be able to bridge companies that wish to contribute to the health of the world's oceans, by recognizing and appreciating sustainable fishing practices in achieving ecolabel certification.
In the course of this six-year program, YKAN has also supported KKP's efforts in preparing Snapper Harvesting Strategies and Fisheries Management Plans. YKAN conveys information from the field and catches data obtained during the six years of activity, as well as building a centralized database at the Marine Fisheries Research Center of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries so that this information can be used to determine management strategies for the deep sea snapper-grouper fishery in 11 WPPs in Indonesia.
"It is hoped that the activities that have been carried out for the past six years can always be beneficial for the management of Indonesian fisheries. This kind of partnership is an important step in carrying out conservation programs in Indonesia, bearing in mind that every stakeholder has a big role to play in making Indonesia remain sustainable," concluded the Executive Director of Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara, Herlina Hartanto.
Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN) is a scientific-based non-profit organization that has been present in Indonesia since 2014. With the mission of protecting lands and waters as life support systems, we provide innovative solutions to realize the harmony of nature and humans through effective natural resource management, prioritizing a non-confrontational approach, and building a network of partnerships with all stakeholders for a sustainable Indonesia. For more information, visit ykan.or.id.