February 2015 Newsletter


Newly appointed Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Susi Pudjiastuti, has begun 2015 to a running start. Issuing a series of Ministry Decrees that seek to keep the sovereignty, sustainability and long-­‐term prosperity of Indonesian fisheries (*and in that order). Of the decrees issued, 2 have significant impact to Blue Swimmer Crab Fisheries. Ministry Regulation 1 of 2015 has two parts, the first outlawing the capture of berried blue swimmer crab (portunus pelagicus), for harvest or for grow-­‐ out technology. Berried crab must be released if alive, if dead fisher must report it to authorities. Second part of Ministry Regulation 1 of 2015, puts in effect minimum legal carapace length, at 10cm; this was later amended to >55grms or 10cm for 2015 and officially 10cm for 2016. Ministry Regulation 2 of 2015 prohibits all coastal and seine trawlers in all management zones. If effectively implemented will no doubt help depleted resources rebound. Coastal trawlers are recorded to catch the majority of undersized blue swimmer crab in the country.

Fishery management and stock assessments were the main topic of discussion for a 2-­‐day conference in part sponsored by P4KSI (Marine and Fisheries Research and Development, MMAF), and APRI.  Day one of the conference held two panel discussions on fishery management, and the stock assessment for blue swimmer crab resources in WPP-­‐712 (Java Sea). Representative from DG Capture Fisheries promised a National Fisheries Management Framework would be completed this year. Already 2 BSC fisheries in Kendari, and Demak have been implementing their own management initiatives, how this will synthesize with a National Framework is unknown. Pressing topics on how trawlers will be dealt with, it seems this would be a step-­‐by-­‐step process including controls on boat licenses, spot checks, and patrolling.


Interim stock assessment information showed signs that the fishery was declining, however, given the large scope of the fishery it was evident that more data needed to be collected to make accurate assessments. The Stock Assessment will be the backbone of a fishery management framework.


Day 2 of the workshop focused on updating the MSC Gap Analysis conducted in 2009 and explored pathways to improving key fishery performance indicators that would be inputs for APRI’s FIP Action Plan. Given a large group of about 50 participants it was ambitious to complete all the tasks to the FIP Action Plan in one day.

However given the diverse representation at the meeting from fishers, mini-­‐plants, processors, government, NGO’s, University Professors resulted in fruitful dialogue resulted and deep-dives into sustainability topics.

Sri Lanka

Seafood Exporters Association of Sri Lanka (SEASL), whom house the blue swimmer crab roundtable, have been working closely with Dr. Jeremy Prince and Dr. Adrian Hordyck of Murdoch University, Australia, to conduct a series of stock assessments catered for small-­‐ scale, data-­‐deficient fisheries through the length-­‐based method, Spawning Potential Ratio (SPR). SPR assessments have been conducted in Puttalam Bay in partnership with IOM, and further north in the Palk in partnership with ILO (LEED). Much like local fisheries in the Philippines, and Indonesia, Sri Lanka will also employ the SPR method to establish a harvest strategy aimed at keeping fishery resources productive through conservation of premature crab. At the same time the National Aquatic Resources and Development Agency (NARA), will be conducting a year-­‐long “official” stock assessment using standardized methods for the Northern districts of the Palk. The NARA assessment would give a more precise estimate on status of stock through a suite of data collection outputs. This could further cross-­‐reference and support SPR initiatives.

Sri Lanka

At the same time, SEASL has been spearheading efforts in gear-­‐selectivity studies in similar SPR sampling sites with ILO and IOM with gears varying in mesh sizes. Some are skeptical of mesh size selectivity given the nature of blue swimmer crab to get tangled in gillnets regardless of carapace width, however this may lead to inputs for spatial management initiatives, and bigger meshes may result in lower by-­‐catch.

SEASL will have a series of stakeholder meetings at the beginning of March with fishery managers to review the FIP, and an MSC workshop with their Developing World initiative that will look at MSC’s scoring process and technical training on Principle Indicators.

Downloadable Materials: http://www.seasl.lk/index.php/sustainablefisheries/slbscfip


PACPI welcomes new member Millennium Ocean Star into the trade association. Its been noted that local processor Byrd are still looking to join, which would only leave Saravia Blue as the only major blue swimmer crab processer not yet to join the Philippine blue swimmer crab FIP with BFAR and LGU’s. Industry alignment that keeps in-­‐country processors on an even playing field is key to securing sustainable fisheries.


February 22nd, PACPI played host to fishery scientists, BFAR, LGU’s, and local NGO’s in a deep dive conversation to outline next steps in FIP Planning. Fishery consultant, Robert Wakeford presided over the dialogue to ensure sustainability performance indicators were properly addressed.


VASEP Crab Council becomes a potential grantee as a prototype fishery to pilot 50in10’s Theory of Change. The approach will look at the entire system of a fishery that includes empowerment of fisher communities and effective management, rather than just environmental indicators. The program could further be rolledout to an investible proposition from the private sector for fishers keen to take responsibility for their resource. While foundations and multilaterals can provide up-­‐front investments to catalyze change, private finance can sustain it over the long term.


Downloadable Material: http://www.50in10.org/


At the end of January NFI Crab Council Liaison, Jeremy Crawford, Executive Director, Ed Rhodes, and APRI FIP Coordinator Dr. Hawis Madduppa, were invited to a Transformations Toward Sustainable Seafood Systems workshop, hosted by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The workshop focused efforts on 3 case studies: Indonesian Blue Swimmer Crab, Baltic Sea Cod, and Chilean Hake and Sardine fisheries. The workshop sought to map relevant sites, resources, institutions and actors to explore pathways and barriers to sustainability. The result of the workshop will lead to a grant proposal to the International Social Science Council (ISSC) of up to $1 million USD over 3 years.


Seafood Summit

NFI Crab Council Liaison participated at the Seafood Summit as a panelist for, “An ASEAN Movement to Ensure Sustainable and Responsible Seafood to Serve the Global Market Place.” The panel delved deep into an ASEAN approach to Fishery Improvement Projects, otherwise known as the ASEAN FIP Protocol. What makes the ASEAN approach different is that it combines environmental indicators such as MSC, social benchmarks such as Fairtrade, and also has a traceability component.

Seafood Summit

Even more so the protocol was developed by local stakeholder groups from industry, to fisher organizations, eNGO’s and fishery scientists. The protocol seeks to develop planning and monitoring tools for Southeast Asian fisheries to begin a sustainability initiative and get recognition for it. The objective of the session was to discuss how regional approaches to sustainability and direct engagement of stakeholders could foster greater interest and longevity in creating long-­‐term change.]

Fish 2.0

The Fish 2.0 business competition connects fishing and aquaculture businesses and investors who are interested in the seafood sector. Fish 2.0 provides businesses with an opportunity to gain visibility, find strategic partners, and ultimately attract new investments in the range of $100,000 to over $10 million. Businesses who enter will compete for over $180,000 in prizes, and 36 finalists will present their ideas to investors during the competition finals at Stanford University.

Fish 2.0

Fish 2.0 is offering an audience seat at the finals at Stanford, California in November, together with associated travel expense coverage to the top Asian seafood business that participates in Fish 2.0.

We encourage established growing seafood companies, early stage start up enterprises, NGOs working in the seafood sector, and interested investors to learn more at the Fish 2.0 Bangkok event on March 24th.

If you cannot attend the Bangkok event, seafood businesses may still participate in Fish 2.0 by signing up for the competition via the Fish 2.0 website (http://www.fish20.org).


GSMC Meeting

At the end of January, the NFI Crab Council met at the Global Seafood Market Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. The meeting was well attended by council members as well as guest representatives from the retail and restaurant community. Among the agenda items discussed during the meeting were the council’s ongoing recruitment efforts, media engagement and a country-­‐by-­‐country update of FIP progress. The Crab Council will hold its next meeting on Sunday, March 14th  2015, as the Westin, Commonwealth BC, during the Seafood Expo North America.

IntraFish Article

Seafood trade press outlet, IntraFish, recently published an interview with Crab Council Chairman Brendan Sweeny. The article profiles the Crab Council’s sustainability mission and sponsored efforts in Southeast Asia. Mr. Sweeny detailed the council’s successes since forming in 2009 in addition to outlining obstacles to overcome and goals for 2015. To read the whole interview, click here.

February& March Events:

Feb. 9-­‐11:  Seafood Summit, New Orleans

Feb. 22:  PACPI FIP Stakeholder Meeting, Iloilo Feb. 25-­‐26: APRI FIP Conference with P4KSI, Bogor

March 2-­‐4: SEASL Steering Committee Meeting with NARA and Fisher Coops, Colombo

March 14:  Crab Council Annual Meeting, Boston

March 14-­‐16: International Boston Seafood Show, Boston  

March 24:   Fish 2.0 Business Competition Workshop, Bangkok