10 Years of MDPI

MDPI has been working in the small-scale fisheries sector since 2013. For 10 years, MDPI has been driving sustainable fisheries activities for the well-being of coastal communities and fishery resources across Indonesia.

As we celebrate our first decade of impact, we are excited to continue our journey, collaborating with partners, and carving out new stories together for small-scale fisheries and fisheries management. Let’s make a difference, hand in hand, for thriving coastal communities and sustainable marine ecosystems!

Here are some of MDPI’s key milestones and achievements over the years.


Origin Story of MDPI

Originating from Anova Food USA’s CSR initiative “Fishing and Living”, MDPI was founded as an independent NGO in 2013 with the aim of driving responsible and sustainable fisheries activities for the well-being of fishing communities and fishery resources across Indonesia.

MDPI’s journey began with the dreams and commitment of Aditya Utama Surono, first Director of the organization, along with Putu Juliani, Momo Kochen, Stephani Mangunsong, and Wildan.


Our First Sites

MDPI established its first project sites in East Lombok and Bone, embarking on various initiatives to support sustainable fisheries management, such as a Fishery Improvement Project, port-side data collection, observers, and electronic monitoring.

Developing I-Fish

With a commitment to data-driven fisheries management, MDPI supported the development of the I-Fish electronic information system, led by the USAID IMACS project. I-Fish is a new way to collect, store and share the small-scale fisheries data needed to manage fisheries sustainably.


Data Management Committees

MDPI established multi-stakeholder collaborative committees called the Data Management Committees, which were renamed Fisheries Co-Management Committees in 2019, thus fostering collaboration on fisheries management.

Achieving FT USA Certification

MDPI and Anova assisted small-scale tuna fisher associations in Ambon and Buru in achieving Fair Trade USA ecolabel certification. These pioneering efforts resulted in the world’s first Fair Trade certified fishery

Through its Fair Trade program, MDPI supports fisheries sustainability and social improvements within communities and supply chains based on international standards.

Supporting Harvest Strategy

MDPI has been a crucial contributor to fisheries management reforms in Indonesia, actively supporting the formulation of policies, with a particular focus on the Tuna Harvest Strategy.

The Harvest Strategy document, published in 2023, is a roadmap to ensure the long-term sustainability of tuna fisheries in Indonesia.


MoU with MMAF

MDPI signed its first Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, solidifying its collaboration and commitment to fisheries sustainability. As a trusted government partner, MDPI collaborates with regency, provincial and national government stakeholders. 

The TraceTales™ app

With support from the USAID Oceans and Fisheries Partnership, MDPI launched TraceTales™, a processor-based traceability production, scanning and inventory system.

MDPI, alongside its partners Anova Food and Harta Samudra, received recognition for this innovative platform, including the SAP Innovation Awards for Social Hero in 2019.


Fisheries Co-Management Committee

To bring fisheries issues observed at the provincial level to national level discussions, MDPI initiated a first regional FCMC meeting. This contributed to the efforts made to synergize to achieve sustainable and measurable use of tuna resources.

Establishing Sahabat Laut Lestari

MDPI established Sahabat Laut Lestari (PT SLL) as a for-profit social enterprise, to expand the work of TraceTales and market-related activities.

PT SLL has grown to position itself in the Indonesian fisheries space, driving its vision to implement sustainable fisheries in ecological, social, and economic aspects.


Expanding community development activities

MDPI decided to make community organizing one of its main focuses. The Fisheries Community Organization program was established with a focus on activities such as fisheries champions, fisher-led cooperatives, financial literacy, and livelihood diversification.

MSC Certification

MDPI, alongside its partners Anova and Harta Samudra, fulfilled a long sought after goal: the Marine Stewardship Council certification. The North Buru & Maluku FT Fishing Association became the first handline yellowfin tuna fishery in the world to be certified to the MSC standard.


Creating Financial Literacy Games

MDPI developed its first financial literacy game, Si Keong Nelayan, as a tool to introduce financial literacy to fishers and their communities. By engaging in this game, individuals can enhance their ability to effectively manage their family finances.


Happy People, Many Fish©

MDPI copyrighted its motto, “Happy People, Many Fish”, reflecting our dedication to thriving coastal communities and abundant fisheries.

Registration of the First Legal FAD

MDPI facilitated the registration of the first legal fish aggregating device in Indonesia, owned by handline fishers from the Tuna Bisa Mandioli Cooperative, North Maluku. This can help ensure responsible fisheries practices.