Indonesian fisheries bagged gold for sustainable fishing

RA 8550 protects the rights of fisherfolk and gives them access to municipal waters.

Indonesia, the world’s largest tuna fishing nation, has been awarded the gold standard for sustainable fishing by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). PT Citraraja Ampat Canning, Sorong pole and line skipjack and yellowfin tuna fishery (PT Crac) is the second one to receive this award in Southeast Asia.

Indonesia’s Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) wanted to promote  proper management guidelines among small vessels to avoid the use of destructive gear in fishing, which often results in bycatch, or the accidental catching of other fish species. PT Crac uses traditional techniques in order to comply to these orders.

The first sustainable fishing technique is ‘Pole-and-Line’ which makes use of live baitfish using only a single pole and a barbless hook.

The second strategy is called the ‘Handline,’ which is done with a single line and hook. When the bait is bitten, the fisher pulls the fish in hand.

The third one is called ‘Troll.’ This is done by throwing multiple fishing lines into the waters. Fishers pull the reels in one by one.

Indonesia also initiated Global Fishing Watch, an online platform to share the positions of its fishing fleets, a first in the world.

With this recognition, PT Crac widened their doors to export markets. The group urges other fisheries to also practice these approaches of fishing for a more sustainable environment.

The fisheries also contribute to positive growth in the labor market due to the rise in the number of fisher folks. This industry brings big sums of money to their country, as much as $40 billion a year. But other than the revenue, the environmental movement that PT Crac has been spearheading is a great source of pride for Indonesia.

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