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What Happens To Indonesia’s 200,000 + M/T Pole And Line Tuna Catch? Indonesia, March 25, 13

This will be one the many important questions that will undoubtedly be discussed during 2nd International Coastal Tuna Business Forum, which is being held on 27-29 May, 2013, at Hotel Sahid Jaya in Jakarta, Indonesia. Over 2011 Indonesia has reported over 200.000 M/T of pole and line tuna catches to the WCPFC – the Western Pacific tuna management body - but still there is limited knowledge available where the fish is exactly caught, and where it all goes. Fact is that right now only a very small percentage of it is exported. An important matter, especially considering that there is globally a strong demand for pole and line caught tuna, and a growing need for nutrition within the local market.

The International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF) has now confirmed that it will share its experiences and insight of coordinating the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification process for the Maldives’ pole-and-line skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis) fishery with Indonesia. Indonesia is also now evaluating the pursuit of MSC certification for its own pole-and-line skipjack fishery as a means of capitalising on the unprecedented international demand for sustainably-managed pole-and-line and hand-line-caught fish.

Based on the catches reported by Indonesia to the WCPFC and the IOTC In volume terms it is the world’s biggest tuna fishing nation and the skipjack resource is crucial to the survival of many of the country’s local fishing communities. It is widely accepted by government and industry members that if the fishery is carefully managed and progressed diligently, it will be of invaluable benefit to Indonesia’s coastal communities and its overall economy. MSC certification is, therefore, an avenue that stakeholders are keen to pursue.

“The IPNLF is a non-profit organization that exists to promote pole-and-line and handline-caught fish and it is responsive to any such fishery that wants our assistance. It is the Foundation’s firm belief that Indonesia’s pole-and-line industry could benefit greatly from MSC certification, which is why we will work closely with the government and stakeholders to share all the experiences of the Maldives’ fishery,” says Dr. Hussain Rasheed Hassan, chairman of the IPNLF.

“Indonesia has recognized that the demand for MSC-certified tuna is increasing all over the world, but especially in Europe where the MSC eco-label is most highly-regarded. Consumers everywhere can now enjoy MSC Maldives’ pole-and-line skipjack tuna and know that it comes from a fishery that has been certified as sustainable. Ultimately, we want to see Indonesia’s fishery given the same opportunities that the Maldives now has.

“Stakeholders are fully aware that due to the sheer size of Indonesia’s coastline, it will probably be more complicated to secure MSC status for the fishery than it was for the Maldives, but it is nevertheless achievable if we go about it in the right structured manner.”

To further build on the already strong relationship between the Foundation and Indonesia, Dr Hussain Rasheed Hassan will be meeting with Indonesia’s Fisheries Minister and key industry members ahead of the 2nd International Coastal Tuna Business Forum, which is being held on 27-29 May, 2013, at Hotel Sahid Jaya, Jakarta, Indonesia. The event has been organized by Indonesia’s Ministry for Regional Development (KPDT), the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) and the IPNLF.

Commercial fishing and processing sectors, along with tuna brands and retailers, are expected to attend this top-level meeting, which will also be attended by Indonesia’s Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Economics, the Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs, the Ministry of Public Works and the relevant port authorities.

Forum sessions will include important commercial topics such as international market opportunities and access requirements, future export trends, value-added processing, and sustainable fishery certifications. The Forum’s full schedule is being finalized and will be published shortly.