By Jeremy Crawford, Asia Liaison
Crab Council Secretary Gavin Gibbons Tours Southeast Asia: Indonesia, Vietnam, and Philippines
Secretary of the Crab Council and Vice President of Communications at the National Fisheries Institute (NFI), Gavin Gibbons, was in Southeast Asia in October to attend the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s (GAA) GOAL Summit. Along the way, Gavin visited with supplier trade-associations in Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
In Indonesia, Gavin met with the new APRI Executive Director, Dr. Hawis Madduppa, as well as the new APRI Board members. Discussions focused around next semester activities, budgeting, and government outreach stateside.
At the GAA Goal Conference in Vietnam Gavin participated in a FIP round-table discussion with VASEP Crab Council members. The discussion focused on the need for a Co-Management and Communications programs to spread awareness and foster compliance of the initiative; VASEP’s potential role in lobbying the government for fishery reforms; planning and budgeting for the next semester. Gavin was also able to visit a factory facility of VASEP member YCC, to inspect meat grading and talk with procurement staff about the supply chain.
In the Philippines, Gavin attended PACPI’s quarterly board meeting. A field visit to Bohol followed where Gavin and Asia Liaison Jeremy Crawford were able to talk with the mayor and blue swimming crab (BSC) stakeholders about the USAID funded Spawning Potential Ration (SPR) assessment methodologies
Both Vietnam and the Philippines expressed concerns of new (and old) processors in the market place that haven’t yet joined the trade associations to support and contribute to the sustainability initiative.
Thai BSC fishery stakeholders from Ban Don Bay, Surat Thani were able to sit with MRAG fishery consultant, Robert Wakeford, to put the finishing touches to a draft FIP Action Plan to be implemented next year. The discussion reviewed MSC sustainability criteria, followed by detailed dialogue on sustainability issues and next steps that include stock assessment work and roundtable discussions with a National Committee to agree on fishery specific objectives. The draft FIP Action Plan is currently under review.
At the end of September researchers, government representatives from the LGU’s, BFAR, Universities, NGO’s, and processors convened for talks on the Philippine BSC FIP. It was the first time such a diverse group of fishery experts and stakeholders were able to sit together and discuss the blue swimmer crab fishery. Dr. Robert Wakeford of MRAG facilitated the discussion as well as conducted the MSC Gap Analysis. Stock Assessments and on the ground implementation of the Fishery Administrative Order (fishery management plan) were the hot topics of discussion. The MSC gap analysis will be completed by November; a follow-up meeting beginning next year is planned.
SEASL completed a 1-month stock assessment in Kalpitiya as part of grant awarded by UN-IOM, using SPR methodology. Trials on a gill-net selectivity study were also undertaken in Kalpititya, which will feed into another gillnet selectivity study by UN-ILO in the North of the country. The assessment information will be compiled with data collected under several funders including UN-ILO, UN-IOM and NFI, which are also contributing to the single stock assessment for the fishery. With 3 funders, Sri Lanka is one of the more well-funded FIPs comparable to size of the fishery. A technical working group including Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DFAR), National Aquatic Research and Development (NARA), and Seafood Exporters Association Sri Lanka (SEASL) will review the data.
ASEAN FIP Protocol
The 3rd stakeholders meeting for the ASEAN FIP Protocol was conducted in Bangkok on October 16th – 17th. Industry and NGO representatives from all over Southeast Asia were represented including the Indonesian Tuna Commission, the MSC, WWF, Morrison’s (UK), Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods, and Thai Union Frozen. The protocol addresses ASEAN to potentially be a stakeholder in the sustainability dialogue. The protocol seeks to be a step-by-step guideline for ASEAN fisheries to enter into more robust sustainability programs based on the fishery realities of Southeast Asia.
The meeting reviewed the current 1st draft of the ASEAN FIP Protocol that is out for public comment till November 15th. ASEAN delegate outreach from the industry stakeholder committee, financial components, and traceability were brought to light during the dialogue. Field-testing the ASEAN FIP Protocol will be the next step from now until January 2015. BSC fisheries in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and Philippines have been nominated to trial the protocol.
Sustainability At Home
By Richard Barry, Program Manager
Indonesia’s MMAF Pays a Visit to NFI
An Indonesian delegation visited the National Fisheries Institute’s (NFI’s) office as part of an observational study tour. The group of key-personnel from Indonesia’s Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) were participating in a week-long visit to Washington, D.C. in order to gain perspective on fishery management.
The tour was part of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Indonesia Marine and Climate Support (IMACS) project. The project seeks to strengthen MMAF’s engagement with local communities and the private sector, and provide technical support for key activities that enable sustainable marine and coastal resources and communities.
During MMAF’s visit to NFI, Crab Council Secretary Gavin Gibbons detailed the Crab Council’s sustainability work in Indonesia through the Indonesian Blue Swimming Crab Product Association (APRI). Secretary Gibbons stressed the importance of a unified fishery and urged MMAF to encourage when possible non-APRI crab processors to join the industry-led sustainability group.
In addition, NFI’s Vice-President of Regulatory Affairs Lisa Weddig summarized the common causes of rejections for Indonesian seafood products by the FDA, such as Salmonella. To avoid rejection, Mrs. Weddig emphasized a greater awareness of the FDA’s inspection protocol.
Both the NFI Crab Council and MMAF benefited from a further understanding of their roles, responsibilities and interests in the Blue Swimming Crab fishery. The meeting illustrated the necessity of jointly addressing fishery sustainability matters from both industry and regulatory perspectives.