2017 is off to a busy start with field-travel to the Philippines and management meetings in Indonesia
At the beginning of January, I visited the Philippines to get up to speed on PACPI’s management of the blue swimming crab fishery. The Philippine’s FIP is progressing significantly, following a gap analysis in 2014. My visit included attendance at a PACPI partners meeting in Tagbilaran and a meeting with the Lord Mayor of Bantayan.
The PACPI meeting evaluated the implementation of gear swap programs in the Bohol Province. The exchange of harvest equipment for gear that uses more sustainable mesh size and material was active throughout 2016. To better achieve program success, PACPI plans to focus on raising gear-type awareness among the fisherman community and fostering government involvement.
While in Bantayan observing SPR stock assessment work, I had the opportunity to meet with the mayor. Mayor Arthur is an ideal example of a blue swimming crab FIP supporter, and I was encouraged by our meeting. The meeting discussion focused on threats to crab sustainability, fishery progress and commitment to recognized fishery improvement. Mayor Arthur will be participating in the next PACPI FIP meeting at the end of February, and I look forward to his involvement.
At the end of December, Indonesia released a Ministerial Decree for the management of blue swimming crab. The decree is a result of a collaborative stakeholder discussion that began in 2015. The NFI Crab Council contributed in early phases of the process by introducing such measures as a BSC minimum harvest size and a ban on berried female crabs.
Following the release of the decree, the Crab Council met with APRI, Sustainable Fisheries Partnerships (SFP) and the Acting Director General of Capture Fisheries, Dr. Agus Suherman. The result of those discussions was a consensus to focus implementation of the decree at the local district and provincial levels for maximum impact.
Find the full text of the decree here in the Crab Council FIP document library.
At the end of January 2017, I held a meeting with Director General of MF Products Competitiveness, Dr. Nilanto Perbowo.
The meeting centered on the Control Document integration process and served to further advance the NFI Crab Council and APRI’s efforts to seek government support for the supply chain monitoring system. Following the meeting, MMAF, the NFI Crab Council, APRI and SFP resolved to work together so that BSC fishery would serve as a management exemplar for all Indonesian fisheries. The meeting achieved synergy between the BSC fishery stakeholders and was a step forward in seeing elements of the Control Document receive government endorsement. I look forward to meeting with MMAF and continuing the conversation in March during the Seafood Expo North America in Boston.