• One Vessel at a Time… Tolitoli Fishers Moving Towards Compliance

    31 May 2017
    Indah Rufiati

    On May 19, Dinas Perhubungan (Ministry of Transportation of Republic Indonesia) Tolitoli held a small-scale fishing vessel measurement activity. This activity was supported by Dinas Kelautan dan Perikanan Tolitoli, MDPI, suppliers, CV. Mina Jaya Bahari (fish industry) and Fair Trade (FT) Fishers Associations (FA). The objective of doing vessel measurement is to combat IUU Fishing (illegal, unreported or unregulated in the Fisheries Management Area of ​​the Republic of Indonesia – WPP RI).

    There were 68 vessels measured and here is the data:

    • 17 fiber vessels and 1 wooden vessel from FT FA Lumba-lumba in Salumpaga Village
    • 4 fiber vessels from non-FT fishermen in Salumpaga Village
    • 4 wooden vessels from non-FT fishermen in Laulalang Village
    • 14 wooden vessels from FT FA Karya Nelayan in Lingadan Village
    • 8 wooden vessels from FT FA Sinar Laut in Lingadan Village
    • 20 wooden vessels from non-FT fishermen in Lingadan Village

    After the vessel measurement activity was completed, Debriga as a representative from CV. Mina Jaya Bahari, gave a socialization to the fishermen about the proper way of fish handling, the characteristics of the fish affected by disease and contamination and the impact to fish that are handled improperly.

    This activity was attended by 59 participants: 2 people from Dinas Perhubungan Tolitoli Regency (Pak M. Yusuf and Pak Zulkarnain), 1 person from CV. Mina Jaya Bahari (Debriga), 2 people from MDPI (Hendri and Anto) and suppliers, fishermen and fishermen’s wives.

    Hopefully this activity can be one of the inspirations to fishermen in other areas to start supporting Indonesian government in combatting IUU Fishing and that working together we can get compliance increasing in our fisheries.

    Writer: Hendri Heni Tiala

    Continue Reading
  • Ubud Food Festival: Our Future is at Sea

    31 May 2017
    Indah Rufiati

    What is MDPI? What is Fair Trade? What is Traceability? What is Sustainable Seafood? – Those questions arose from the visitors of Ubud Food Festival, a festival held in Ubud, Bali from 12 – 15 May. This event is one of the biggest culinary events in Indonesia and very popular to both national and international audiences. There are many chefs, culinary icons, restaurant owners, and even environmental advocates who attend this annual event.

    In this event, MDPI had a booth to raise awareness about MDPI’s work amongst Indonesian-based consumers, to talk about sustainable seafood, Fair Trade certified seafood and seafood traceability with the visitors. This year’s theme was “Every Flavor is a Story”, to celebrate the richness of Indonesian food, including the history as well as Indonesian culture, heritage, community and geography. To align with the theme, MDPI booth also had theme “The Story of Your Fish” to raise awareness about the story of fish from fishermen (our main stakeholder) to consumers’ plates. Most people might not be aware that the fish they eat went through a long journey to finally be ready to be consumed by them. On this occasion, MDPI gave a whole story about it by explaining Fair Trade certified seafood and the various technologies and interventions that are implemented in various stages of the supply chain to show fishermen are not involved in Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing activities.

    Pak Aditya and Indah explained about MDPI program to Pak Bondan, a famous journalist, writer and culinary expert in Indonesia. Photo credit: MDPI

    Another exciting event for MDPI was our Fair Trade Manager, Jaz, participating as a panelist in a discussion: Think, Talk, Taste: Our Future is at Sea, with other panelists from permaculture, chef, aquaculture and environmental protection. In this discussion, the panelists shared their experiences from the seafood and marine world and what challenges the seafood world is facing at the moment. All of the panelists agreed that consumers should be more aware about the seafood they consume, by starting to find out “Where Your Fish Comes From”: Is it from sustainable source? Is it caught by responsible fisherman? Is it processed by a responsible company? What if it was caught by fishers in forced or bonded labour situations? And more questions that we should keep in mind to be a better consumer. They also gave tips about what fish to buy, here are the tips:

    1. Buy fish in season – fish that are in season are cheaper, more accessible and have likely not been in long term storage or transport to get to you. Its typically fresher and better for the climate to buy fish in season.
    2. Spend less – Less well-known fish are just as good and cost less because they less in demand. Learn to ask your fishmonger for them and learn new recipes to match them.
    3. Respect tradition – traditional recipes for fish soup use different fish according to what is available on the day.
    4. Discover new flavors – There are 25,000 edible species of fish in the sea but we only eat about 15 of them. Enjoy discovering new flavors!
    5. Many portions from just one fish – Medium-sized to large fish (2 – 5 kg) are soft and tasty when cooked in the oven. They are ideal choice if you have guests.
    6. And most important… buy local if you can. This supports local fishing communities, has least impact on climate through travelling only short distances and has the strongest likelihood of being fresh

    MDPI was delighted to be part of this year’s Ubud Food Festival and met many amazing people to talk and to share ideas with. MDPI also would like to thank Ubud Food Festival for giving us a space to discuss and share our story and approach. Not to mention, big thanks to all the MDPI team who joined and supported MDPI at this event! And one last special shout out to Jaz… well done on the panel, you done us proud! 😊

    Writer: Indah Rufiati



    Continue Reading

    31 May 2017
    Indah Rufiati

    The 2nd International Conference of the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI) was held on 27th April 2017 at Padma Hotel, Bali – Indonesia. The objective was to draw attention to the importance of transparency and participation in the fisheries sector, which is a vital livelihood for coastal countries all around the world. Hosted by MMAF on behalf of the Indonesian government, the one-day international conference was attended by approximately 300 representatives from governments, businesses, civil society, international organizations, donors and media. Susi Pudjiatuti, the Minister of MMAF was one of the keynote speakers.

    In addition to sending representation to the conference, MDPI also participated in the exhibit, with small stand representing our organizations work. The MDPI tagline was “It’s time to take small-scale fisheries into account”. With this opportunity, we wanted to highlight that small-scale fisheries are often exempt from regulations and therefore unregulated, although having big potential in terms of production and creating livelihood for large proportions of communities in remote areas. The unknown number of vessels, combined with the wide geographic distribution and part-time and full-time activity of small scale fisheries makes it difficult to regulate and monitor these fisheries for compliance with regulations. As a result, it is not possible to really demonstrate the legality of the fishing practice… so what can we do?

    MDPI showcased various traceability-based technologies piloted in small scale tuna supply chains to boost transparency. The first technology is a satellite-based tracking device called Spot Trace. This device is used to verify the fishing ground information, to demonstrate that a vessel is fishing in a legal area. The second technology is an onboard camera, soon to be deployed in MDPI sites. It will record a photo every 10-15 seconds, during the trip, the purpose of which will be to assess the fisheries’ interaction with Endangered, Threatened and Protected species (ETPs). On the landing site, there is Dock app operated by enumerators and Ourfish app utilized by suppliers. Dock and OurFish are mobile apps specially developed to make data collection more efficient, to reduce human error and to reduce the use of paper. The last but not the least is Tally-O, an internal electronic traceability system in fish processor level.

    This set of technologies and other MDPI’s activities are expected to enhance transparency, data availability, data transparency and traceability of small-scale fisheries. We have experience working with hundreds of fishermen and fishing sectors stakeholders for many years, and we discover that everybody is willing to be sustainable, traceable and transparent. It is just a matter of having the available tools and capacity to do so. So that’s the plan for MDPI moving forward, making all these technologies or similar scalable and available to all small scale fisheries, to move forward on the path to transparency. So, why wait, It’s time to take small scale fisheries into account! 😊 😊

    Writer: Lalu Hizbulloh

    Continue Reading
  • Middlemen Getting Savvy with Technology – the OURFISH App

    31 May 2017
    Indah Rufiati

    MDPI, in 2016, collaborated with the Smithsonian Institute as part of the “Technology Innovations towards Sustainability of Tuna Fisheries in Indonesia Project” to deploy an app, called OurFish in 2 small scale Indonesian tuna supply chains. OurFish was developed by the Smithsonian Institute to assist the supplier/middleman/first buyer node in seafood supply chains. The app has been previously deployed in various countries in South America and in Asia. The app has 2 main functions, namely to record transactions between fishers and middlemen related to fish and  other fishing related components such as fuel, ice, etc., in a way as a business management tool. Additionally, the app, as it collects info on all fish coming off vessels, collects production data, or total catch. In the development phase, suppliers were invited to test the app, give feedback about the experience of using it including suggestions, obstacles or other useful information, to improve the application. A guideline document was developed to give users an explanation as to how to use the app.

    In the deployment phase, the app was introduced to MDPI’s Site Supervisor and Sustainability Facilitator in Waelihang, North Buru and Sakanusa, Seram, so that they can help to monitor and guide the supplier to operate it. The program and the app were explained to the selected suppliers and their workers. In North Buru the supplier was Pak Ayen and the trusted worker he appointed to operate the app was Pak Ismail, while in Seram supplier Pak Amir used the app. Both of these suppliers coordinate Fair Trade fishers, who were registered into their Ourfish account in the app.

    The next step was a trial when the supplier or the worker was asked to test the app in a real-life situation on unloading. The key things to be emphasized in this step were how to input transaction data and how to synchronize the data so that it can be received by the software developer (Smithsonian).

    After the trial, the suppliers were asked for their feedback on the app. Some questions and inputs were given such as: “Is individual loin inputted one by one? Is it possible to input them in batch to reduce time for inputting data?” This kind of input was reported to the software developer for their reference to improve the app in the future.

    The implementation ran from July to November 2016. During the implementation, the supplier was expected to directly use the app whenever there was a transaction, i.e. during weighing the fish, making a payment to a fisher. The implementation was regularly monitored by the Supply Chain team by contacting suppliers by phone or text to get feedback.

    The app is available on the Google app store and is now under direction of the NGO Rare. This video nicely describes the app and its uses in small scale fisheries.

    Lesson learned

    • Both the suppliers (or his staff) were interested and support this kind of program, introducing new technology to their business activities. They were enthusiastic to use the app and other suppliers in the area were interested to test it also
    • Technology programs seem to need a long time for implementation, especially in remote areas where the people have lower knowledge of and experience with technology
    • Trading schemes and standards between suppliers and fishers are volatile due to follow the buyer standard. Therefore deep assessment is needed to build the proper app that is useful and able to replace paper record
    • Regular evaluation and improvement are needed

    Writer: Hastuti

    Continue Reading
  • Informal Discussion to Celebrate National Fishermen’s Day

    31 May 2017
    Indah Rufiati

    To commemorate National Fishermen’s Day (Hari Nelayan Nasional) on April 6, the MDPI team in East Lombok held an informal discussion for information sharing on fisheries developments and regulation updates. This discussion was attended by fishermen’s representatives, the head of Labuhan Lombok Port, Harbor Master (Syahbandar), head of Pengawas Perikanan NTB and industry representatives. As an initial information, most of the participants were not aware that there is National Fishermen Day in Indonesia, so they suggested for us to hold this kind of discussion again in the future to commemorate it.

    Several points were discussed:

    • The importance of correct data reporting for improving the management of fishery resources and supporting infrastructure and improvements in services, especially data on tuna fisheries, which are under international management through Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs)
    • Implementation of fisheries regulations: Permen No. 1 tahun 2017 about operation permit letter, Permen KP No. 26 tahun 2014 about Fish Aggregating Device (FAD); UU No. 7 tahun 2016 about fishermen empowerment and protection; Permen Perhubungan No. 8 tahun 2013 about vessel measurement.
    • The involvement of MDPI to assist the management of FAD installation permits (SIPR) by distributing registration forms to be submitted to DKP West Nusa Tenggara Province.
    • Emphasising the importance of re-measuring vessels to provide the accurate information in compliance with the rules. The aim is for this activity to be completed in December 2017 because there will be fines for vessels with incorrect information.
    • The importance of having complete documents, safety equipment and ship capability standard. The Syahbandar emphasized this issue to reduce the risk of sea accidents & IUU (Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated) fishing operations.
    • The importance of maintaining fish quality, prioritizing quality over quantity, so that fishermen can get effective results with good price.

    All of the participants enjoyed this discussion, especially fishermen; they really appreciate all of the information shared with them. MDPI will be happy to hold more discussions in the future 🙂

    Writer: Juhrin

    Continue Reading
  • Fishermen’s Folk Party (Pesta Rakyat Nelayan) in Bone

    31 May 2017
    Indah Rufiati

    To celebrate the 687th Anniversary of Bone Regency on April 6, people in Toro Village, Tanete Riattang Timur District, Bone Regency organised a fishermens’ tradition called “Pesta Rakyat Nelayan” (Fishermen Folk Party). MDPI staff in Bone, Sahril and Alwi were asked to join in the party as the committee of the celebration.

    This year’s celebrations were conducted in Balakang and aimed to build stronger friendships between fishermen, village government and the community. As part of the celebrations, there was a fishing competition, Qur’an reading competition for the kids, adzan competition and makkaremo (catching fish with bare hands). In this event, fishermen also gave a traditional performance called madduppatasi (a story about how fishermen are greeted by their wives after a fishing trip).

    This event was attended by the head of regency, the vice head of regency, the head of DPRD, the head of district and the head of village, as well as teachers in Bone Regency. MDPI is very grateful to be involved in this cultural activity. It strengthens the friendship between MDPI and at the end of the day, better friendship means better collaboration in the future 😊 😊

    Writer: Sahril


    Continue Reading

    17 May 2017
    Indah Rufiati

    Doing something good is good, but making sure that the result is useful and actually used is even better!! With MDPI’s data collection activities, we really want the results to be used and appreciated by all stakeholders: government, industry, academia, fishermen, other NGOs, etc., to raise the profile and improve the conditions for small-scale fisheries in Indonesia.

    In 2016, MDPI piloted four traceability-based technologies in small-scale tuna fisheries and plans to continue this implementation, with the addition of another technology, in 2017. The first technology is a Spot Trace® device, which is a satellite runtracking device, generating a signal every hour, a signal containing the vessel location details. This system can help identify and verify fishing grounds, to ensure fishing is occurring within Indonesian EEZ or other authorised waters. The second technology is a mobile application used by the supplier/Middleman called OurFish. It enables suppliers to keep track of the catches delivered to them and to track exchanges of ice and fuel with fishermen. The third technology is an android application called Dock. It is a method we have tested which allows port monitoring to be done on an android phone rather than by typical paper based methods.  And our fourth application is a processor-based traceability system, replacing paper-based traceability with an electronic data recording system. To date Tally-O has been implemented in two Indonesian and one Vietnamese processing plant and the reporting needs will be specific to those plants.

    Other technologies yet to be implemented are onboard cameras, which will record a photo every 15 seconds, or possibly more frequently, during the trip and the purpose of which will be to assess the fisheries’ interaction with Endangered, Threatened and Protected species (ETPs). These technology implementations generate a wealth of data, for which stakeholders have various levels of interest in.

    To ensure efficient (and useful) reporting of information from these traceability technologies to our stakeholders, MDPI organized a workshop on 20 April 2017 in Ambon. The objectives of this meeting were to, for each of the five mentioned traceability technologies; identify what information each stakeholder would like to receive, how frequently and in what format. There are many valuable inputs from each stakeholders. One of them for example, fishermen expect to get reports from Spot Trace so that they can plan their next fishing trip better, and they prefer the report to be distributed every month in hard copy format. From the feedback, automatic reports will be generated and sent to the stakeholders, similar to the automatic generation and distribution of reports from the I-Fish website.

    Writers: Lalu Hizbulloh & Deirdre Duggan


    Continue Reading
  • Story from the field: Lively Discussion with the Amazing Fishermen in Tolitoli, Central Sulawesi

    9 May 2017
    Indah Rufiati

    It’s the last week of March and MDPI’s Indah and Nuri and Widi descend on Tolitoli, Central Sulawesi! We have a few objectives: to conduct a lecture on Fisheries Sustainability at the local university, to host a Movie Night in the  local village, to conduct our I-Fish Data Communication Cruiseship and a Fair Trade Committee meeting. It’s not going to be a quiet few days… but the lady team is ready!

    The lecture on Fisheries Sustainability was conducted in Universitas Madako Tolitoli and was attended by 36 people (students and lecturers). In this short lecture, Indah presented an introduction to MDPI i and updates, followed by Nuri’s presentation about fisheries data and the role of RFMOs (Regional Fisheries Management Organizations) in tuna management. Widi also had a story to tell, explaining about Fair Trade and its implementation in Tolitoli. After the presentation sessions, we had an interactive questions and answers session. Students were very active and asked many questions related to data collection, traceability, Fair Trade. Our favorite question was when they asked about the possibility about the future collaboration between Universitas Madako and MDPI! As a wrap up, we all played the “Sweet Sustainability Game” with the students, a simple yet useful way to simulate sustainable approaches to fisheries.

    MDPI with students and lecturers of Universitas Madako. Photo credit: MDPI

    Next on the list, Dule Village, three hours by car, to hold a Movie Night to increase community awareness about ocean ecosystems. In theory, conducting a movie night is not difficult because all we need is a computer, a movie, a projector and a screen. But in fact, conducting movie nights in remote areas with no stable electricity was a little bit challenging. Last year, our projector was burnt in Buru, Maluku and this time, the cable burned because of the unstable generator 🙂 However, we managed to fix the problems and conducted a movie night that was attended by around 60 people ranging from kids to adults.

    Movie Night in Dule Village. Photo credit: MDPI

    Next, the I-Fish Data Communication Cruiseship “Diskusi Santai tentang Ikan” and Fair Trade Committee meeting with fishermen from Salumpaga Village and Lingadan Village. There were 40 fishermen and 10 local stakeholders (industry, local government and Dinas Kelautan dan Perikanan/DKP) in attendance.

    The I-Fish Data Communication Cruiseship is a data dissemination event specially built for fishermen to increase their understanding about data use and the importance of data. In this event, MDPI and fishermen also discussed about what data is needed or useful for fishermen. The discussion was opened by Indah presenting MDPI updates, followed by Nuri’s presentation about data. From the data discussion, fishermen asked MDPI to create other data analyzes which could show them the relationship between ice use and fish quality. We’ll be truthful when we say that we are always delighted when fishermen are actively involved in a discussion, moreover asking about other data they would like to receive! Other discussions included yellowfin tuna biology, which is when we realized that some fishermen don’t know the basics, even though they are out looking for these creatures every day. To fill in their curiosity about yellowfin tuna, Indah presented the poster about yellowfin tuna biology and they were really excited to know more about their favorite fish! Just like any sustainable fisheries discussions we conduct, we wrapped it up with “Sweet Sustainability Game” 🙂

    Finally, the Fair Trade Committee meeting was a meeting to discuss about Fair Trade implementation with fishermen, including how to create a proposal to use Fair Trade premium fund and was led by Widi. Fishers Associations involved in the Fair Trade program and in efforts to meet the standards to achieve Fair Trade certification will receive Fair Trade premium fund paid by consumers who buy Fair Trade products. This premium fund will go to the account of the Fair Trade Committee and not into fishers’ personal pockets and will be used for community projects, including a 30% contribution to environmentally focused projects. The premium fund received by Fair Trade Committee in Tolitoli this time was Rp. 123,470,000 (around 9,298 USD).

    Fair Trade Committee meeting in Tolitoli. Photo credit: MDPI

    MDPI is glad to be a part of the fishing community in Tolitoli and hopefully we will continue to keep up the good work together with fishermen and related stakeholders.

    Thank you Tolitoli for the welcome and we’ll be back soon! 😊 😊

    Writer: Indah Rufiati


    Continue Reading
  • MDPI Refreshing Training in Makassar

    11 Apr 2017
    Indah Rufiati

    Ensuring MDPI site supervisors and regional supervisors have the tools to run implementation sites to a high standard

    The latest refreshing training was held in Makassar, March 15 – 17. This training was attended by Site Supervisor (SS) and Regional Supervisor (RS) from Sulawesi and Nusa Tenggara area, supervised by Guillermo, Momo, Wildan, Nuri and Dayu.

    The aims of the training were to:

    1. Refresh on identification technic for tuna species, especially taking note of tongkol species
    2. Consolidate port sampling method according to the protocol
    3. Ensure that all RS and SS have the same understanding about the updated port sampling protocol
    4. Strengthen the Fishery Improvement’s field team
    5. Strengthen the data analysis capability of field team

    Guillermo gave interesting materials about the concepts and terminology of fisheries and how to identify tuna species. From his explanation, a fishery is the combination of a specific fish stock (resources, number of animals) and the tools used by humans to exploit the stock. An increase in fishing effort threatens the stock species of fish and coral reef health, therefore stock assessments are very important. Stock assessments, including the use of various statistical and mathematical calculations, can make quantitative predictions about the reaction of various fish populations to alternative options or management. The stock assessment is useful for predicting a variety of risks that may result from the overfishing of the various populations of fish that are spawning, and also for the prediction of time/age until the fish reach a certain size before it is harvested. In general, the main objective of fisheries management is to maintain fish stocks at a sustainable level through various regulatory and remedial actions. To achieve these objectives, the stakeholders must have information regarding the estimation of the stock so that they can design and provide strong reasons to carry out various types of control of fishing activities.

    Guillermo also delivered a refresher material about the techniques and how to identify tuna and tuna like fish. Tuna is the main target of the majority of fishermen with whom we interact in MDPI data collection sites and we must identify it accurately. To distinguish between fishes is practically very easy because they have different shapes and colors.  But, there is a problem in identifying tuna and tuna like fishes. For example, in general, people only know one type of tongkol tuna, but in fact there are several types of tongkol tuna including kray (frigate tuna), tongkol bullet (bullet tuna) and tongkol kawa (mackerel tuna). The same thing happened with Yellowfin Tuna (YFT) and Big Eye Tuna (BET). Therefore, participants were given a refreshing explanation and training on YFT and BET identification techniques.

    In this training, participants also discussed the sampling method, data collection strategy and problems found in the field. And finally, at the end of training activities Momo gave a strong motivation and encouragement to all field staff and gave acknowledgments for achievements and consistency in collecting data.

    A similar training for the Maluku-based staff will be held this week, 11-13 May, in Ambon… be ready Maluku guys, the prizes are awesome but the quizzes are tremendously hard!!! 😉 😉

    Writer: Amrollah

    Continue Reading
  • Focus Group Discussion: Identifying a path to compliance – Vessel and FAD registration for Small-Scale fishers in Indonesia

    11 Apr 2017
    Indah Rufiati

    MDPI hosted a Focus Discussion Group meeting in Bogor in late March to address issues on vessel and Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) registration. FADs are ubiquitous in Indonesian tuna fisheries and concerns exist on their unregulated use, as this may be partly to blame for the overexploitation of this resource. We also see a relatively small number of small-scale vessels being registered, making it difficult to estimate the real numbers of vessels active in the various fisheries. One of the first steps in managing fisheries is understanding what is being managed, so having information on the stock, on the numbers of vessels and gears active and then using this information to make management decisions. For FADs it is important to know how many and where they are, as well as to document the species composition and size of the animals caught at FADs. In working in many provinces to support small-scale fishers to move towards compliance, MDPI has identified that it is often difficult for them to register FADs and vessels, and this meeting aimed to clarify the discrepancies in regulations and jurisdiction between central (KKP) and provincial (DKP) governments and to make some suggestions for next steps to make the process easier for the future.

    The meeting was attended by members of Dinas Kelautan dan Perikanan, DKP, from five provinces (NTB, NTT, Maluku, Maluku Utara and Sulawesi Utara), Kementerian Kelautan dan Perikanan, KKP, (Pusriskan, DG Capture Fisheries, DG Monitoring and Surveillance, PUSDATIN industry/supply chain actors (middleman and a fisher) and the Nature Conservancy, (TNC). After lively discussions about the problems and clear identification of barriers to compliance, DG the group together came up with a work plan for the coming year, to try resolving various ambiguities in regulations, mainly because of different interpretations, to help fishers have a smoother process when registering FADs and vessels. Issues to be addressed included the deployment of FADs by artisanal fishers within and beyond 12 nautical miles from the coast, issues with regulation PERMEN KP26/2014 that has some inconsistencies with more recent legislation, and the legal status of vessels smaller than 10GT. This work plan also aims to contribute to the development of a FAD Management Plan for Indonesia, which should be completed towards the end of 2017.

    Writer: Guillermo Moreno

    Continue Reading