A FIP* with a Difference…

8 Nov 2015
Indah Rufiati

We, at MDPI have been concentrating on international market demand, on supporting industry in Indonesia to work towards sustainability, on preparing supply chains for certification; be that Fair Trade or hopefully in the future Marine stewardship Council and  all of this always with a view on the import countries, mainly the US and EU states. “ But what about Indonesia?, Can we not do something for Indonesian product and try to inform the Indonesian consumer about sustainability and social issues?” were comments I constantly received from our Indonesian staff, and of course they are right! How can we at MDPI really focus on creating awareness about fisheries, about sustainability and fair trade approaches right here in Indonesia?

This is where our Mud Crab project in Kaimana, Papua may have the answer for us! MDPI started working in Kaimana with several groups of fisher ladies approximately 1 year ago as a collaboration with Conservation International. The mud crab fished by these fisher ladies has a predominantly domestic market, with product momentarily going mainly to Jakarta.

In recent weeks the MDPI and CI teams together have been developing a concept where we are trying to connect these fishers with the increasingly large market bases of Bali, Jakarta and perhaps in the future Surabaya. But we don’t just want to facilitate the selling of the crab, we want to ensure that the story behind the crab and the project in Kaimana is included in the sales contract. We want to sell the community project aspect of the project and motivate the restauranteurs to sell the story of these fisher ladies. The story we want to tell is that of a community project which has recently formed Fisher associations, where awareness campaigns are aiming to eliminate unsustainable practices and where data collection is carried out to support the local management body, the local DKP, to implement robust management on the fishery to maintain its sustainability.

The first delivery of crab arrived in Bali several weeks ago and the second just last weekend, at the beginning of November. Some selected and well respected restaurants have been approached to potentially purchase the crab and some trialing of the cargo methods, pricing approach and quality aspects are being conducted as we speak.

Loop back for some updates soon on what restaurants may be serving this delicious Kaimana crab. Here is a peek review on how one restaurant in Ubud, Pica (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g297701-d6891753-Reviews-Pica_South_American_Kitchen-Ubud_Bali.html ), served up the crab…..Ceviche…….It was delicious!

Here’s hoping that the project continues to be a success and that indeed we can develop the concept of sustainable seafood for Indonesia and Indonesians on a wider scale.

*Fisheries Improvement Project

Delicious Kaimana crab in restaurant. Photo credit: MDPI

Mud crab in Kaimana. Photo credit: MDPI

Writer: Momo Kochen

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