Resource Management Section
MDPI supports and encourages landing site data collection with the fishers, in accordance with the Fair Trade Capture Fisheries Standard. MDPI discuss with the fishermen about the concept of why data is important, why data is needed, what is the benefit for them to record their fishing trip and how the data can be used to prove their activities are sustainable, environmentally-friendly and legal. For the Year 1 audit, the Fair Trade standard requires that 50% of the fishing trips are recorded, with the percentage coverage increasing for audits in Year 3 and Year 6, 75% and 90% respectively.
The Fisheries Improvement Department of MDPI supports the data collection activities through the I-Fish data collection system, with the sampling coverage ranging from 20-50%, thus requiring participation from the fishermen. For the last year, MDPI is trying to encourage the fishermen to start recording their own trips. The fishers need to record the date of fishing, the name of the fisher, the fishing grounds, the hours spent fishing, each yellowfin tuna they catch and also their other catch. They need also to record any interaction with Endangered, Threaten and Protection (ETP) species during their fishing trips. In early 2017, some Fisher Association decided to use their incentives funds (Premium Fund) to hire their own enumerators or to build their own reward system for every sheet of data collection they complete.
Environmental Friendly Fishing Gear, ETP Trainings & Movie Night
Fair Trade fishers are encouraged to participate in conservation and protection of the marine ecosystem. They should adopt environmentally-friendly fishing method and their hooks and fishing gears must be chosen to target yellowfin tuna and not hurt any Endangered, Threatened and Protected (ETP) species, such as whales, dolphin, some shark, turtles and some birds. MDPI conducts ETP awareness trainings with the fishers, covering topics from teaching about how to release sharks when they are unintentionally caught to identifying the ETP species and recording their interactions with ETP species. One village, Waprea, has even initiated the implementation of their own conservation ponds for sea turtles.
MDPI also raises awareness in the Fair Trade villages by having movie nights, where fishers, their family and villagers can learn more about life below the surface of the sea surrounding them. It is all work towards making the fishermen understand that their daily choices both on land and at sea, such as their choice of hooks for catching bigger tuna and where they dispose of their garbage, has an effect on the environment, which can impact their future as a fisherman.
Given the poor refuse collection infrastructure in Indonesia, there is usually low awareness and understanding amongst fishermen and their villages about waste management. In these remote villages, the rubbish is usually disposed of by throwing it to the sea. MDPI tries to build the awareness of fishers regarding the impact of their actions. Projects were conducted among fishers to build collection stations and also beach cleaning days are now a weekly occurrence in Salumpaga village, one of the Fair Trade sites in Tolitoli, Central Sulawesi. Waste management is also being monitored in each processing factory, with an assessment conducted in each section of the factory, from processing to office waste. A plan is required for correct disposal of rubbish from each part of the factory, such as the waste water, fish waste, paper waste and potential oil spills from generators.
MDPI assists fishers to register their vessels in each district/province, to be recorded as handline tuna fishers and to obtain their Fisher ID Cards. In doing so, the Fisher Associations receive recognition from the government and access to programs conducted by the government. For example, last year there was a new Fisher Insurance program from the national government, and Fair Trade fishers who own Fisher ID cards received the insurance coverage.
Joining Fair Trade made the fishers aware of the national and provincial regulations related to their fishing activities, such as regulations related to Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing. Additionally, participation in the Fair Trade program gives the fishermen to represent themselves in co-management meetings with provincial government, usually organised for twice a year. In these meetings, fishers can share their experience and give inputs to the government. It is expected in Year 3 implementation (2017) that the fishers, certificate holders and government sign a commitment to co-management.