TRANSPARENCY, IT’S TIME TO TAKE SMALL SCALE FISHERIES INTO ACCOUNT!

31 May 2017
Indah Rufiati
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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

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