Regional Fisheries Co-Management Committee VI: Indonesia Boosts Blue Economy Collaboration

DENPASAR, May 30, 2024 – The Indonesian government, along with fishers, industry leaders, and fisheries experts, gathered to boost collaboration on sustainable tuna management and responding against removal of subsidies in the fisheries sector as urged by the World Trade Organization (WTO).

In February 2024, the WTO directed measures to end overfishing, which threatens fish stock sustainability due to fisheries subsidies. However, member countries can choose not to adopt this directive if they implement sustainable fisheries policies.

Prof. Dr. Ir. Budy Wiryawan, M.Sc, representing the Indonesian Society and Fisheries Foundation at the Regional VI Meeting of the Joint Fisheries Management Committee (KPBP) Tuna (Thursday, May 30, 2024).

“Facing issues developing both globally and nationally, MDPI, along with the Indonesian Pole & Line and Handline Fisheries Association (AP2HI) and the Indonesian IPNLF Foundation, initiated the formation of KPBP with stakeholders from nine provinces in 2019. This platform serves as a forum to discuss potential solutions to emerging issues and collaboratively produce recommendations,” said Prof. Dr. Ir. Budy Wiryawan, M.Sc, Chairman of the Advisory Board MDPI.

This collaboration was strengthened at the Sixth Regional Fisheries Co-Management Committee held in Denpasar, Bali, aimed at unifying the vision of Indonesia’s tuna fisheries stakeholders on sustainable practices. The meeting carried the theme ‘Blue Economy Collaboration Towards Golden Indonesia.’

Budy further stressed the necessity for collaboration among fishers, industries, academics, NGOs and the government to achieve sustainable fisheries. This collaboration should integrate with the government’s strategy; the Blue Economy concept, to preserve Indonesia’s marine and fisheries resources while fostering ecological economic development.

“The Blue Economy concept encourages all fisheries stakeholders to sustainably utilize marine resources, fostering inclusive and environmentally friendly economic growth,” he explained.

The Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries has initiated the quota-based fishing policy (Penangkapan Ikan Terukur; abbv. PIT) as the center of Indonesia’s Blue Economy concept in the fisheries sector. This policy regulates the total allowable catch of key commercial species and delineates fishing zones. These measures aim to maintain the sustainability and ensure the preservation of fish resources and their environment.

Dr. Ir. Ridwan Mulyana, MT, Director of Directorate of Fish Resources Management-MMAF, addressing how measured fishing can benefit all stakeholders in the long run on Thursday, May 30, 2024.

“The integrated approach of quota-based fishing can enhance overall regional development, safeguard the sustainability of fish resources and other ecosystems,” said Dr. Ridwan Maulana, Director General of Marine and Fisheries Resources Management-Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF).

Panel discussion involving various fisheries policy stakeholders during the Sixth Regional Meeting of the FCMC Tuna (Thursday, May 30, 2024).

It is expected that all parties, including fishers, industry, and policymakers, can effectively implement this policy. “We need to consider its monitoring scheme in the field, as many fishers at sea haven’t yet complied with this policy,” noted Rustam Tuharea, a small-scale tuna fisher from Buru Regency, Maluku.