1. USAID SEA Draws Attention to Fair Trade Fisheries at Jakarta Business Forum
In a well-received presentation at last month’s Marine and Fisheries Business and Investment Forum in Jakarta, USAID SEA pointed up the incentives that Indonesian fishers and fishery businesses can receive for participating in the Fair Trade system. The presentation drew on the experience of the NGO Masyarakat dan Perikanan Indonesia (MDPI) to outline lessons and achievements related to USAID SEA’s work in “Creating Incentives for Sustainable Fisheries Management in North Maluku.” MDPI is USAID SEA’s main implementing partner for its Fair Trade program, which is focused on creating incentives for the sustainable management of selected fishery products being exported primarily to the United States, the third-largest market for Fair Trade Certified goods after the United Kingdom and Germany.
The program assists the establishment of fishers’ associations and Fair Trade Committees, trains fishers to meet Capture Fisheries Standards, and guides the fishers and Fair Trade Committees to operate effectively. Fishers are rewarded for their Fair Trade compliance with a premium, an additional sum of money paid on top of the Fair Trade price. The premium goes into a communal fund held by their association, which they can use as they choose to improve their social, economic and environmental conditions.
Held on 12 September, the Marine and Fisheries Business and Investment Forum was organized by the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries “to improve the competitiveness of marine and fisheries micro-businesses in digital commerce.” It was keynoted by Marine Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti and attended by small and medium marine and fishery enterprises and other related companies.
2. Immersive Workshop on Storytelling Conducted for USAID SEA Implementers
USAID SEA carried out on 23-26 September a storytelling workshop for its different implementing NGO partners. Conducted mainly in the North Maluku city of Ternate with a field trip to Tidore, the workshop was an immersive activity designed to equip participants with skills to write stories of success and lessons learned from project implementation. Success stories provide a qualitative measure of program implementation at a time of demand for accountability and performance measurements, and serves as readily available information on program impacts and for marketing communication. More than 30 Communication, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning officers and field staff, including enumerators and facilitators, attended the workshop to learn about communication, branding and marking, interview techniques, and writing stories of change. For their field exercises, the participants were divided into two thematic teams: Governance and Community.
The Governance Team gathered the North Maluku governance stakeholders for a discussion on “Seeking Change” to provide material for stories conveying the challenges the interviewees faced and their solutions. The Community Team, on the other hand, met with fishers, Pokmaswas members, and USAID SEA’s local “Sea Champions” to develop stories providing input for extension program activities on project results and their impacts on local communities. Post-training evaluation feedback was very positive, with content, delivery method, usefulness and satisfaction rated at 4.6 to 4.8 on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being most positive). Participants indicated they gained insightful and practical tips for creating high-quality content to help build a solid connection with their audience. However, they also said they needed to further improve their skills to effectively communicate project results, and requested similar workshops to be conducted in the future in other provinces.
3. Marine Protection in Eastern Indonesia Gets a Boost with Cetacean Training
Support for marine biodiversity protection in the eastern Indonesian provinces of Maluku and North Maluku has been elevated with the recent conduct of a Cetacean Training Workshop by USAID SEA and its partner Coral Triangle Center (CTC). Held on 23-25 September at the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) training facility in Ambon, Maluku, the workshop aimed to assist the governments of Maluku and North Maluku with integrating important oceanic habitats of cetacean species into their respective provincial marine protected area (MPA) networks. These MPA networks have been integrated with cetacean migration corridor.
It consisted of classroom instruction and field practice covering marine monitoring techniques and skills, management for decision-makers, and policy development. Trainees came from various organizations and groups concerned with cetacean conservation in Maluku and North Maluku. They included participants from the Marine and Fisheries Agency, Tourism Office, Transportation Office, dive and tour operators, and community stakeholder groups in both provinces, as well as staff from the Species Conservation Division of MMAF. The workshop follows a series of cetacean rapid ecological assessments that CTC conducted in Banda and Ceram Seas in 2017 to raise cetacean monitoring awareness and skills among MPA stakeholders in the two provinces.
4. Offline-enabled Vessel Registration App Seen to Spur Local Adoption of Indonesia’s SIMKADA
USAID SEA is trialing an offline-enabled vessel registration app to supplement SIMKADA, the Indonesian government’s electronic and licensing system for fishing vessels below 30GT. Called “Offline SIMKADA,” the app was developed as part of USAID SEA’s commitment to help accelerate the adoption of SIMKADA by local governments within Fisheries Management Area (FMA) 715 where USAID SEA works, and to increase the number of small-scale (<10GT) fishing vessels registered in the system. The SIMKADA system is intended to be operated and managed by the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) with the local governments’ respective Marine and Fisheries Agencies (DKP’s) to guide Indonesian fisheries development planning. However, adoption by the local governments has been slow, largely because of capacity and technological challenges at the local level. The design and delivery of Offline SIMKADA are meant to address at least some of these challenges.
Designed primarily as a solution for areas with poor Internet connectivity, the app is currently being piloted in the North Maluku districts of Ternate, Tidore, North Halmahera, South Halmahera and Morotai. To facilitate its acceptance, USAID SEA conducted on 30 September-2 October a training for 25 SIMKADA operators on the use of the technology. SIMKADA operators are DKP staff who are responsible for the registration of small-scale fishing vessels, defined under North Maluku law as not exceeding 5GT. As a priority, these operators will be supported by the USAID SEA partners’ field coordinators to upload existing vessel data to MMAF’s online SIMKADA database. Offline SIMKADA stores and delivers data in a format that can easily be integrated with the online database whenever Internet connection is available. And, as well as being an aid to vessel registration, the app can also be used as a tool against illegal fishing, having a barcode generator that creates unique barcodes for use in legal status-verification of the vessels and fish catch. This is a plus for fishers needing to be competitive in markets that require sustainability and traceability of their supply chain.
5. Indonesia’s Government Executives Told: Apply Good Marine Governance to Ensure Marine-based Livelihoods
USAID SEA has urged government officials in Indonesia to practice good governance in the implementation of marine and fisheries development programs. The message was given in a presentation delivered by the USAID SEA Marine Protected Area Technical Advisor at a workshop in Baten Province last 30 September. The Project said good governance is crucial not only in promoting the long-term sustainability of marine ecosystems but also in ensuring the viability of marine fisheries, tourism, and other livelihoods and enterprises that depend on the marine environment staying healthy.
The workshop, which carried the theme “Synergy Management of Aquatic Conservation Areas and Sustainable Marine Tourism Development,” discussed the challenge for national and local governments to improve the effectiveness of marine conservation areas and sustainable marine tourism. Along these lines, one of the workshop speakers, Mr. Hugua, said it is important to establish synergy between stakeholders in Indonesia, where there are 20 million hectares of marine conservation areas, many of which can be utilized for tourism. Mr. Hugua, who heads the Maritime Local Government Network (LGN), expressed hope that the discussions would help local governments to integrate sustainable marine tourism into the development planning in their respective areas. The workshop had over 70 participants representing 8 ministries, 3 provinces, 15 districts, 4 municipalities, and 10 local government associations and networks.
It was organized by the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs in collaboration with the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Coral Triangle Center, World Wide Fund for Nature-Coral Triangle Program, USAID, United States Department of the Interior, and Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security Regional Secretariat. In addition to participating in the main proceedings, USAID SEA displayed on the sidelines of the event six protected marine species posters and its “State of the Sea: Indonesia” publication, and distributed copies of the Talking SEA Newsletter and other information materials.
6. West Papua Equip Community Surveillance Group in Fight Against Illegal Fishing
Six Pokmaswas or community surveillance groups in five districts of the West Papua regency of South Sorong have received new equipment to assist their surveillance efforts against illegal fishing in the South Sorong Teo Enebikia Marine Protected Area (MPA). They included the Siganoi Pokmaswas in Inanwatan district; Udang Pokmaswas in Kais district; Matemani Pokmaswas in Matemani; Klasaimus Pokmaswas in Saifi; and Mesar Jaya Pokmaswas and Mangewang Pokmaswas, both in the district of Konda.
The equipment, consisting of GPS devices, cameras, life vests, binoculars and flashlights valued at Rp800 million, was purchased with funding from the West Papua Marine and Fisheries Agency (DKP) and handed over to the heads of the Pokmaswas groups on 1 October. The DKP assistance was seen to motivate the Pokmaswas members to raise the level of surveillance of the South Sorong MPA. It followed and was encouraged by previous similar assistance from the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF), delivered on 14 July through the Sorong Regional Implementation Unit for Coastal and Marine Resource Management, to strengthen the surveillance activities of the Kenaburi Pokmaswas in Kokoda district. MMAF’s support, which was first prompted by reports of steadily increasing incidence of Illegal fishing in the MPA, was reinforced by a behavior change assessment conducted by USAID SEA with implementing partner World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The assessment showed that 70 percent of the local community in Kokoda want more surveillance of the area.
7. Fisheries Stakeholders in West Papua’s Bintuni Bay District Get Training in Fisheries Management
USAID SEA and implementing partner World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) held a workshop on 3-5 October that provided basic training in sustainable fisheries management to local fishers and customary resource owners in the sub-district of Kuri in Bintuni Bay, West Papua. A total of 28 participants attended, learning essential information about coastal ecosystems, their mutual rights as users and owners of customary fisheries, and their shared responsibility for the shared welfare of all their community members.
The Bintuni Bay district has18,637 km2 of territory characterized by rich estuaries and rivers, which have nurtured a long tradition of fisheries, especially the shrimp fishery that has been in existence since the 1970s. But a significant part of these fishing grounds has been lost to industrial oil and gas development, marine protected areas and protected forests. The local community, and in particular the customary fishers using traditional fishing gears who make up the majority of fishers in Kuri, are now experiencing decreasing fish catch and must travel farther to catch fish. The training sought to address the fishers’ plight by focusing on a community-based fisheries management approach that incorporates customary systems, rules and practices into interventions. Dominggus Pigo, a local facilitator, helped the participants prepare post-training action plans to support the development of village regulations promoting responsible fishing practices and access rights for customary fishers. Mr. Pigo, a school teacher, has been an active contributor to the USAID SEA advocacy initiative called Sea Champions Program. Recommended follow-up actions included legalizing the fishers’ group as a Pokmaswas.