USAID has recognized the successful results of the Fishing and Living™ initiative and has awarded a grant to significantly expand its efforts. The program promotes sustainable fisheries and enhanced living conditions for fishing communities. These fisheries have gone through MSC pre-assessment and are engaged in a verified and active Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP) to provide certified sustainable tuna to Anova Food, LLC.
The grant will focus on the handline tuna fisheries in Indonesia. Funds will allow for the expansion of successful programs already implemented. These field programs include:
- setting up 6 additional field offices on new landing sites
- setting up centers that teach alternative livelihoods to fishermen, and reduce the total fishing fleet
- on-site training of data collectors for each new landing site
- on-site training of additional observers for data verification on the fishing vessels
- engagement of all stakeholders including suppliers, processors and the Indonesian fisheries ministry to discuss activities and compiled data
The most important step to reach sustainability is a comprehensive assessment of the health of the fish stock. Under this program, each landing site office collects data on total catch, catch composition, fish maturity, bait, and interactions with Endangered, Threatened or Protected (ETP) species.
The Fishing and Living™ program is a unique approach made possible through the collaborative efforts of Anova Food, LLC, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), local and national governments, a host of other entities and individuals on-site and working in the communities, and of course, the fishermen themselves. The activities of the program are published on their web site at www.fishing-living.org in an effort to provide updates to all collaborating parties.
USAID grants are made possible by the generosity of the American people.
The Fishing & Living team attended the 3rd Tuna Data Collection Committee meeting for the region North and South of Lombok and Sumbawa and the Alas Strait in Mataram, Lombok on the 31st of January. The committee is comprised of local government (Dinas), provincial government (DKP), the local University (University of Mataram), local suppliers and Anova Food. It is facilitated by the IMACS (Indonesian Marine and Climate Support) project of USAID. The objective of the committee is to bring the stakeholders of the local tuna fishery together to work towards improving the data collection in the region and to work through problems which the stakeholders see as obstacles to that mission.
Discussion points at this meeting included:
1) issues related to Handline fishermen from Lombok and Sumbawa having placed some rumpons outside of EEZ (exclusive economic zone), resulting in some potential conflicts with the Balinese purse seiners,
2) the lack of data on the location of the FADs (Fish Aggregating Devices) and the need to collect more information on the exact location of handline activities,
3) I-fish (the database developed by IMACS, which will be utilized to store and analyze the collected data from the region) official launch, which is to be held in Jakarta in March 2013
4) IMACS distributed 6 GPS Spot trackers, a VMS (vessel monitoring system) device that should enable fishermen to know their exact position and to be tracked via the Internet.
In February 2013, Fishing and Living Program will receive a grant from USAID to expand the Fishing and Living Program Data Collection and Observer Program to 6 remote small scale tuna fisheries sites in East Indonesia.
The program will complement the other previous sites of Lombok and Bone. With the support from local processor and Government of Indonesia and American people through USAID we will one step to support the strengthening of Indonesia tuna data for stock assessment.
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