FIRST INDONESIAN TUNA FISHERY ACHIEVES MSC CERTIFICATION
First Indonesian tuna fishery achieves MSC Certification – The PT. Citraraja Ampat Canning, Sorong Pole and Line Skipjack and Yellowfin Tuna (PT CRAC) has become the first fishery in Indonesia, and the second in Southeast Asia, to be certified to the internationally recognised Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard for sustainable fishing.
PT CRAC voluntarily approached independent assessors, DNV GL, to review the sustainability of their fishery against the MSC Fisheries Standard. The MSC does not certify fisheries itself, instead they set a Standard for fisheries to be assessed against. These assessments are carried out by independent, third party certification bodies who determine whether a fishery fails or passes. DNV GL’s assessment of the PT CRAC fishery took 18 months to complete and included an analysis of all available science and data, stakeholder consultation, site visits and peer review by independent experts.
As the world’s second largest seafood producer, Indonesia has a vital role to play in safeguarding global oceans and seafood supplies. This certification required the fishery meet widely agreed international measures for sustainable fish stocks, minimise environmental impacts and demonstrate effective management. The Indonesian government has committed to new measures to maintain this certification, showing leadership in tackling the challenge of unsustainable fishing.
“PT. Citraraja Ampat Canning is leading the way in sustainable fishing in Indonesia and Southeast Asia,” said Patrick Caleo, Asia Pacific Director at the Marine Stewardship Council. “The efforts made by the fishery to achieve MSC certification will help safeguard livelihoods, seafood supplies and healthy oceans for future generations. We hope to see other fisheries follow their lead by joining the global movement for seafood sustainability.”
The PT CRAC Sorong Pole and Line Skipjack and Yellowfin Tuna fishery includes 35 pole and line fishing vessels that employ 750 local fishers. It has been operating since 1975 using tethered rafts, known as anchored fish aggregating devices (FADs), for attracting fish. The fishing technique – catching one fish at a time using a pole and line – is highly selective and has a small footprint on the local ecosystem.
The assessor, DNV GL, determined that the fishery meets the high bar of sustainability defined by the MSC Fisheries Standard but set six conditions of certification to be delivered over the next five years. These conditions require improvements to harvest strategies and harvest control rules, ensuring international collaboration on maintaining healthy tuna stocks.
The Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) has agreed to work with the fishery to take forward the actions required to address the conditions of certification. This will involve collaboration with other member states of the Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) to promote effective harvest strategies for skipjack and yellowfin tuna. Together, these states are responsible for oversight of 60% of the world’s tuna catch.
Mr. Zulficar Mochtar, Director General of Capture Fisheries, MMAF welcomed the MSC certification for PT. Citraraja Ampat Canning because it will strengthen the fisheries management in Indonesia. Mr. Zulficar stated “MSC certification will show that Indonesian fisheries have achieved the principles and international standards for sustainability. Hopefully, more Indonesian fisheries and industries will achieve MSC certification in the future”.
From the fishery, Mr. Pak Ali Wibisono, Chief Executive Officer of PT. Citraraja Ampat Canning, added: “PT Citraraja Ampat Canning and the Sorong Pole and Line fishery have always had sustainable fishing as our core value and we are very grateful to be the first Indonesian MSC certified fishery.”
He continued: “This certification runs parallel with the push by Indonesia’s Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries for the implementation of more sustainable fisheries in the country. We hope this certification will inspire other Indonesian one-by-one tuna fisheries to follow up with sustainable fishing and certification. This is very important for our fishermen and fishing communities in Sorong and will help ensure that the fish and a healthy ocean will be there for future generations.”
PT CRAC processes tuna from the fishery in Sorong, Indonesia before exporting it to Singapore, Malaysia and Europe. Skipjack tuna is also an important source of protein for the local population, with the Government of Indonesia promoting seafood consumption as part of the region’s food security agenda. In recognition of this certification, tuna from the fishery can now be sold with the MSC blue fish label.