(BALI, INDONESIA – Oct. 29, 2018) A major reform effort to make one of Indonesia’s most valuable fisheries more sustainable received a significant boost today at the Our Ocean Conference being held in Bali, Indonesia. With world leaders in attendance, officials from the Province of Lampung announced their commitment to implement a transformational management plan for its blue swimming crab (BSC) fishery.
Lampung’s new plan is the first in Indonesia to empower local stakeholders like fishers, processors, and supply chain workers in the decision-making process. Local leaders hope new supply chain measures in the management plan, such as training on handling and strengthening the cold chain, will support sustainable practices and improve the quality of the product.
“This is a crucial opportunity for Lampung to develop a new model and demonstrate approaches for small-scale fisheries in Indonesia,” said Ir. Taufik Hidayat, Head of the Lampung Province Planning and Development Agency. “Our plan is dedicated to ensuring a secure and sustainable source of income for Indonesians.”
The plan will help protect a major source for one of the nation’s most lucrative export fisheries. Blue swimming crab in Indonesia generates more than $300 million in economic activity a year and is a source of income for thousands of Indonesians. In addition to protecting 230 square miles of juvenile crab habitat and limits to the use of damaging fishing gear, the plan requires small-scale fishers to register.
“Getting sustainable fishing right in Lampung is crucial for our province where there are more than 4,000 fishers, and more than 2,000 people in processing who rely on our coast for their food and livelihoods, said Imam Pudjono, Vice Deputy of Capture Fisheries, Lampung Province. “We hope that lessons from Lampung can be helpful for other provinces in Indonesia.”
This achievement is a testament to the leadership of the Lampung Provincial Fisheries Agency and the power of partnerships. In less than two years, Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF), APRI, the processors association, and academic experts with facilitation support by EDF and Starling Resources, helped the provincial government create a brand new process for collaborative management planning and implementation, including the formal establishment of a multi-stakeholder body to design and implement a science-based management plan. The work was aided by the support of the Walton Family Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
“This science-based plan is unique because it was developed in collaboration with the people who work in the fishery and live in the local community,” said Muhammad Khazali, Senior Manager, EDF Indonesia. “We know that management is only successful if we harness the knowledge and experience of local people—enabling and empowering them to put measures in place for a more sustainable future.”
Lampung is one of the biggest BSC production sites in Indonesia (around 10% of Indonesia’s total production). However the blue swimming crab fishery in Lampung, as with many places, is showing signs of overexploitation. Fishers talk about how their catches are declining, crabs are maturing earlier at smaller sizes, greater variation in annual fishing patterns, and unstable prices. These are all common stories that are happening too often around the world, but can be addressed with science-based, participatory management.
“This new plan in Lampung has three critical ingredients for lasting sustainable management of fishing: scaled appropriately to ensure impact, scientific rigor, and community participation,” said Muhammad Taufik Hidayat, Senior Associate, Starling Resources. “Scaling approaches like this one will lead to healthier fish populations and ecosystems, livelihood benefits to communities throughout the supply chain, and more opportunities to tip the global seafood system toward sustainability.”
EDF said it will continue to work with provinces, MMAF, and all partners as the organizations aim to develop new models and methods for effectively managing fisheries alongside communities in this region. EDF said it hopes that its experiences can provide lessons to other fishery managers and stakeholders across Indonesia and contribute to the sustainability of this critical national resource.
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