Assistance for Indonesia to boost sustainable fisheries production

31 Jul 2014
An Indonesian fish counter

An Indonesian fish counter

Indonesia is to use a US$47.4 million World Bank loan to rehabilitate threatened coral reefs and develop an integrated community-based approach to managing its marine and other coastal fisheries resources.

The loan forms part of additional funding totalling $62 million from the World Bank’s Coral Reef Rehabilitation and Management Programme - Coral Triangle Initiative (COREMAP-CTI) project, which also is being supported by a $10 million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), while the Indonesian government has pledged $5.74 million to support the five year project. 

COREMAP-CTI is the final phase of a three part programme launched in 1998 intended to educate and support coastal fishing communities in developing local management of sustainable fisheries to protect the marine and other coastal resources on which they depend for their livelihoods.  

An estimated 95% of Indonesia’s fisheries production of more than 8 million tonnes a year is produced by artisanal fishermen, which has encouraged the government to support efforts to enable coastal communities take greater responsibility in managing their local fisheries resources in a sustainable manner.

Promoting sustainable fisheries includes educating fishermen about the impact of different fishing methods. According to marine surveys, almost two thirds of Indonesia’s coral reefs are considered threatened from overfishing while almost half of the nation’s reefs are considered threatened by destructive fishing practices, including the use of dynamite.

The COREMAP-CTI project aims to work with over 200 selected fishing communities to develop an integrated approach to sustainable coastal resources planning and management that the government can use as a blueprint and introduce in other areas of Indonesia. 

“COREMAP-CTI builds on the achievements of previous projects COREMAP-I and COREMAP-II which showed the benefits of community participation in coral reef eco-systems management,” said Rodrigo Chaves, World Bank Country Director for Indonesia.

“The next challenge is to mainstream this approach into local government and village programmes, so that coral reef protection becomes an integral part of development planning and improves the welfare of coastal communities.”

The World Bank project is one of several international initiatives now underway in Indonesia with support from various multilateral and bilateral agencies to assist local efforts to develop sustainable fisheries.

In 2013 Indonesia signed an agreement with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to increase cooperation in fisheries and aquaculture development, while the European Union has provided advice to Indonesia’s Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries to ensure that fish farmers and fishery processors follow EU guidelines so that fishery exports to Europe comply with strict health and safety regulations.

In terms of bilateral assistance to the fishing industry, France and the United States are among a number of countries encouraging companies importing fishery products to work with Indonesian exporters to ensure access for Indonesian seafood products.

According to the Fisheries Ministry, Indonesia’s fishery production totalled 8.4 million tonnes in 2011. Wild capture marine and inland fisheries totalled about 5.7 million tonnes or about two thirds of overall output while aquaculture production amounted to 2.7 million tonnes or about one third of fishery production.

Government figures show that over 6 million people are engaged in marine and inland fishing and fish farming. At present the nation’s fishing fleet totals around 582,000 fishing boats, many being small sized boats used by artisanal fishermen.

Major importance 
Fisheries are of major importance to Indonesia, both as a source of nutrition for the growing population as well as a source of foreign exchange earnings.

About 54% of the nation’s protein intake comes from the consumption of fish and other seafood. In fact, per capital consumption of fishery products has tripled from an annual average of 10.2 kg in the 1970s to 27.3 kg in 2010 due to the increased marine fisheries catch and growth in aquaculture production over the past three decades.

To achieve its various aims, the World Bank-funded COREMAP-CTI project will include pilot initiatives such as marine spatial planning, promoting community rights-based fisheries and assisting development of an eco-system approach to fisheries management.

Some 210 village communities in selected coastal districts in five provinces in eastern Indonesia will take part in COREMAP-CTI: these include Sikka in East Nusa Tenggara; Selayar and Pangkep in South Sulawesi; Buton and Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi; Raja Anpat in West Papua and Biak in Papua.

“This project is situated in the epicentre of marine biodiversity for the world. The coastal and ocean resources in the project area provide critical food, livelihoods, storm protection and tourism opportunities for millions of people in the region and even beyond,” said Gustavo Fonseca, Team Leader for Natural Resources at the Global Environmental Facility.

The launch of COREMAP-CTI follows completion of COREMAP II, the second stage of the programme, which involved assisting 358 fishing villages in eastern Indonesia.

COREMAP II involved establishing an institutional framework to support sustainable fisheries development managed by coastal communities that included supporting regulations to control sustainable fisheries practices, developing the fishing industry capacity in the targeted areas and establishing the decentralised administration of coral reef fisheries at a district level in the selected areas.

In addition, COREMAP II also helped establish the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security. Co-funded by the World Bank and the Manila-based Asian Development Bank, the initiative is being implemented as a partnership involving Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Timor Leste, which jointly have agreed a 10 year plan to tackle current threats facing marine resources in the Pacific region where the world’s major coral reef fishery resources are located.

In addition to the 210 coastal village communities covered by COREMAP-CTI, the project will support two marine conservation areas covering 5.7 million hectares, as well as two fishery management zones.

Promoting sustainable coastal fisheries is a key strategy in Indonesia’s long term programme to create economic and food security for its growing coastal communities. By 2020, the Indonesian government has pledged to set aside 20 million hectares of marine areas for Marine Conservation Area management.

So far some 14 million hectares have been demarcated and 5.5 million hectares have been brought under management plans. Indonesia’s COREMAP-CTI project is intended to be the government’s main initiative to meet the nation’s ambitious marine conservation commitment.

World’s largest archipelago
Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago, boasting 17,504 islands and a total coastal length of 95,990 km. Some 60% of the nation’s growing 247 million population live on the island of Java which accounts for just 8% of the country’s land area.

Indonesia’s coastal and marine sector, in particular the small scale fisheries that coral reef ecosystems support, is an important economic asset for the country as a whole and for the millions of poor fishing families that depend on it.

About 60 million people or almost 25% of the population live close to the country’s long coastline.

While marine capture fisheries is the largest sector in terms of tonnage produced, aquaculture has increased in importance in revenue terms during the past decade due to the increased production of high value shrimp and prawns, much of which is exported to Indonesia’s major fisheries markets – the United States, the EU and Japan.

In terms of biodiversity, Indonesia’s coral reefs are the most diverse in the world and are considered the epicentre of marine biodiversity in the Coral Triangle. This area stretches from the South China Sea at its apex to the Timor Sea and Solomon Sea at the triangle’s base, being surrounded by Indonesia and the five other countries cooperating on the Coral Triangle Initiative.

Second only to the Great Barrier Reef in total area, Indonesia’s coral reefs span some 5.1 million ha in area and are equivalent to about 18% of the world’s total coral reefs.

Indonesia’s reefs are diverse in both their physical structure, ranging from fringing reefs and atolls to barrier reefs, and in the marine life they support. Around 2,500 species of fish live along Indonesia’s reefs along with 590 species of stony coral and a wide range of molluscs and crustaceans.

The government approach to sustainable fisheries development includes encouraging the growth of aquaculture production to ease pressure on marine fisheries.

Aquaculture is most developed in west, central and east Java where the main output is prawns and small pelagic capture fish. Cage culture is used for grouper and rabbit fish which are produced for live export.

Aquaculture also is practised in south Sulawesi, north Sumatra and Bali. Fisheries activities in eastern Indonesia involve mainly tuna fishing and small local coastal fisheries.

Seaweed production is growing significantly and is important in alleviating poverty in poor fishing communities as seaweed is ready to harvest after 45 days.

Major marine fisheries areas are located in southern Indonesia and extend into the Indian Ocean, also in eastern Indonesia in the Arafura Sea.

The country’s largest fishing port is located in the capital, Jakarta, on the north coast of West Java. Other major fishing ports are located at Kandari in southern Sulawesi and at Pelabubon Rake on the south coast of West Java.

In fact, large fishing vessels often land their catch at Indonesian fishing ports other than their own to maximise earnings. Fishing boats from Jakarta, for example, frequently unload their catch in Bali, the country’s major tourism centre.

The fishing industry today accounts for 21% of Indonesia’s overall agricultural economy and 3% of the nation’s GDP. In addition to the importance of fish as a source of protein in the local diet, fishery products are an important source of foreign exchange earnings.

According to government figures, Indonesia’s fishery exports reached a record US$3.6 billion in 2012, up 56.5% compared with five years earlier when seafood products worth $2.3 billion were shipped overseas in 2007.

Indonesia’s three large traditional export markets are Japan, the United States and Europe which together account for about 70% of the country’s total fishery exports. Tuna and shrimp are the main products shipped to these important markets.

Indonesian fish exports to Europe, mostly tuna, amounted to around US$530 million in 2013 or about 15% of the country’s total fishery exports. During the past two years Indonesia’s fishery exports to Europe have come under increasing scrutiny and have been subjected to sustainability certification.

Following an EU audit of Indonesia’s fishery export industry in 2013, a list of requirements to tighten up fishery production and export practices in relation to fishery goods shipped to EU countries was sent to the fisheries ministry, which drew up an immediate action plan for the fisheries industry to adopt and concerned fishery agencies to enforce as a matter of urgency.

Foreign investment in fishing boats from China, Thailand and Taiwan is helping drive fisheries export growth as many foreign joint venture investments are aimed at increasing export production.

Most foreign investment is to purchase fishing boats and to develop fish processing operations such as filleting, producing surimi products and shrimp preparation.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries recently show-cased its blue economy project programme at a special event run on the sidelines of a five day session of the 140-member FAO Committee on Fisheries that was held in Rome in June 2014.

The presentation highlighted the ministry’s blue economy concept being used in East Lombok, Central Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara Province, and Nusa Penida, Bali, which features an integrated upstream and downstream development programme covering tuna fisheries, aquaculture, marine tourism, and salt and pearl production.

The Lombok project is being implemented in cooperation with FAO under a three year cooperation agreement signed by Indonesian Fisheries Minister, Sharif Cicip Sutardjo, and FAO Director General, Jose Graziano da Silva, during a visit to Indonesia last year.

Seaweed production also has been targeted for development as part of the government’s blue economy initiative and fisheries industrialisation programme. Indonesia has 1.1 million ha of coastal areas under seaweed with around 550 species found locally or almost 50% of the world’s entire seaweed varieties.

The Fisheries Ministry set a production target of 7.5 million tonnes of seaweed for 2013, up 30% compared with the 5.2 million tonnes produced in 2012. The ministry's target for 2014 has been set at 10 million tonnes.