JAKARTA—Tapping innovative science, technology, and public-private partnerships, Indonesia is capturing accurate data, prioritizing trade of mature fish, and making concrete plans for long-term, sustainable snapper-grouper fisheries management with the support of the United States through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Through the USAID Supporting Nature and People—Partnership for Enduring Resources (USAID SNAPPER), the United States has collaborated with the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) since 2016 to pilot technology to measure, monitor, and manage the country’s valuable fish stocks.
USAID SNAPPER has helped the MMAF bring 26.5 million hectares of biologically significant areas under improved natural resource management. With USAID support, MMAF developed a Ministerial Decree on Fisheries Management Council to strengthen fisheries management plans.
The project has trained more than 900 people in methods to collect data on catch, size, and species for the snapper and grouper fisheries and implemented the use of the at-sea data collection program in all 11 Indonesian fisheries management areas to provide reliable data for the top 50 species of deepwater snapper-grouper fisheries. USAID SNAPPER also developed a database and reporting system adopted by the MMAF to manage deepwater snapper-grouper fisheries.
“The U.S. Government is pleased to support the Government of Indonesia’s goal to create a healthy, well-managed marine ecosystem to allow the country to preserve a sustainable fish supply and protect fishers’ livelihoods,” said Brian Dusza, director of USAID Indonesia’s Environment Office. “USAID SNAPPER also engages with the private sector and brings fishers onboard with training to collect valuable data on available fish stocks and track fishing activity while helping them stay safe at sea.”
Indonesia has the largest snapper and grouper production in the world, catching 119,000 metric tons each year to supply worldwide markets. The Indonesian fishing industry employs over seven million people and contributes greatly to national economic growth and supports 60 percent of Indonesia’s population.
“The Government of Indonesia is committed to support the sustainability of the fisheries sector by taking into account the ecological and economic values in the utilization of fish resources in Indonesian waters, one of which is through the development and implementation of the Harvest Strategy for snapper and grouper fisheries,” said Dr. Ridwan Mulyana, Director of Fish Resources Management at the MMAF.
With USAID support, MMAF developed a national fisheries management plan and harvest strategy for deepwater snapper-grouper fisheries. The program consults with communities and fishing companies to prevent overfishing and to enhance fisheries regulation and controls, for example by capping the number of fishing vessels allowed to fish in a certain area in a given time. Through a Global Development Alliance, USAID partners with the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation to co-fund USAID SNAPPER.
USAID SNAPPER provides training and incentives to fishing companies to maximize their use of voluntary sustainability measures. Through fisheries improvement programs, six fish processing companies have committed to share their supply chain data and limit the purchase of juvenile fish to a maximum of five percent—allowing more fish to reproduce—to obtain Marine Stewardship Council certification.