Indonesia Leads the Way in Sustainable Tuna Fisheries Management

As the world observes World Tuna Day on May 2nd, Indonesia proudly stands as a beacon of sustainable tuna fisheries management and resource stewardship.

Indonesia’s strategic geographical position between the Pacific and Indian Oceans and its vast territorial waters and islands make it a key player in the global seafood industry. With a fisheries potential of 12.01 million tons per year, Indonesia is a leading tuna producer, contributing 15-17% of global tuna production annually. In 2022 alone, Indonesia’s production value of yellowfin tuna, skipjack, and other tuna species reached an impressive 1,490,637 tons, with an export value of 194,724 tons amounting to 960,266 USD. Tuna remains a cornerstone of Indonesia’s economy, supporting millions of livelihoods across the archipelago.

Skipjack tuna, one of the species managed by Indonesia’s Harvest Strategy.

Celebrating the Year of Tuna

In an exciting development, Indonesia declares 2024 as the Year of Tuna. This initiative aims to boost domestic demand and promote the consumption of this nutritious and versatile fish, further enhancing its economic value within Indonesia while supporting local fishermen and communities. Spearheaded by the Indonesian Tuna Consortium program, the nation has embarked on a journey to revolutionize tuna fisheries management through a collaborative, science-based approach.

The Indonesian Tuna Consortium, established in 2019, unites key stakeholders from non-profit, private, and public sectors to develop science-based policies, implement social and economic programs, and integrate these efforts into a holistic harvest strategy for tuna fisheries in Indonesia’s archipelagic waters. Comprised of five organizations based in Indonesia, including Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara, Masyarakat dan Perikanan Indonesia (MDPI) Foundation, IPNLF Foundation Indonesia, Marine Change, and Fair-Trade USA, the Consortium is dedicated to securing healthy, sustainable tuna fisheries and supporting fisher communities throughout Indonesia.

On this World Tuna Day, Indonesia reaffirms its unwavering commitment to preserving tuna stocks and promoting the well-being of our oceans. Through collaborative efforts and innovative strategies, Indonesia continues to lead by example in sustainable tuna fisheries management, setting a standard for nations worldwide.

Read also: What is Harvest Strategy?

Promoting Responsible Tuna Fisheries Management

Ensuring the sustainability of tuna fisheries is paramount. With 420 thousand tuna fishing fleets and 1.7 million fishermen, 90% of whom are small-scale fishers, Indonesia recognizes the necessity for collaborative efforts in managing tuna resources. Tuna’s migratory nature necessitates coordinated management among countries at the Regional Fisheries Management Office. In response to this challenge, Indonesia has undertaken several initiatives to promote responsible governance and conservation of tuna resources. These initiatives include the implementation of quota-based policies, the Tuna Fisheries Management Plan (RPP-TCT), the establishment of protocols for sustainable tuna fisheries in archipelagic waters, the improvement of data through electronic logbooks and scientific cooperation, and the strengthening of diplomatic efforts to advocate for fairer tuna quota allocations.

The Harvest Strategy, tailored specifically for Indonesia’s Archipelagic Waters, is at the heart of Indonesia’s comprehensive approach to tuna fisheries management. Launched on World Ocean Day, June 9th, 2023, this strategy integrates social, economic, and environmental factors to secure healthy and sustainable tuna stocks for future generations. “Now as Indonesia has the Harvest Strategy for Indonesia Archipelagic Waters, stakeholders’ roles are key to implementation and proactive collaboration in harnessing the country’s fish resources,” stated Thilma Komaling, Strategic Lead for Indonesia Tuna Consortium.

One of the industry’s major suppliers launched their MSC-certified tuna product at the end of April 2023, highlighting the demand and reliance of the Indonesian local market on sustainable tuna stocks. “We collaborate closely with local small-scale fishing communities, where one man, one boat, and one hook are employed to catch one fish, thus preserving the longstanding tradition of local wisdom in tuna resource conservation. From local waters to the domestic market, our sustainably certified fresh tuna aims to lead the way in promoting responsible consumption and production,” remarked Robert Tjoanda, director of Harta Samudra.

Read also: MDPI, Anova, and Harta Samudra Receive Award for Traceability Implementation


About Tuna Consortium

The Indonesian Tuna Consortium was created in 2019 to coordinate a cross-sector approach to develop science-based policies and regulations, implement social and economic programs to improve fisher livelihoods, and integrate these policies into a holistic harvest strategy for tuna fisheries in Indonesia’s archipelagic waters. The goal of the consortium is to bring key stakeholders from across the non-profit, private, and public sectors to establish a harvest strategy that will be adopted by stakeholders to secure healthy, sustainable tuna fisheries and fisher communities throughout Indonesia. The Phase II Tuna Consortium consists of five member organizations based in Indonesia.