How to provide a responsible seaweed product? What kind of seaweed farming that complies with the environmentally friendly standard? WWF-Indonesia and SMART-Fish UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) set out to provide the answer in a seminar.
27 participants coming from the Fisheries Office of South Sulawesi Province, seaweed industries and ASTRULI (Indonesian Seaweed Industry Association) gathered in a meeting room in Menteng, Central Jakarta. Officially opened by the representative of Directorate General of Marine and Fisheries Market Ministry of Marine and Fisheries, in two days (August 6th-7th, 2018) all participants learned and discussed the method of seaweed farming and business complying with the sustainability standards.
WWF-Indonesia and UNIDO lead the discussion and presentations of the five ASC-MSC Seaweed standard¹ presented by Patricia Bianchi using in class training method.
“With global seaweed production increasing along with demand for certification of the seaweed industry, the ASC and MSC recognize the importance of having a standard that rewards those harvesting seaweed sustainably as well as providing a benchmark for improvement. Understanding and ensuring the environmental and sustainable seaweed standard is relevant and address the issues of operations in Indonesia is critical,” said Patricia Bianchi, Seaweed Account Manager of Marine Stewardship Council and Aquaculture Stewardship Council.
The standard covers five principles (1) Sustainable wild populations; (2) Environmental impacts; (3) Effective management; (4) Social responsibility; and (5) Community relations and interactions.
“This seminar aims to encourage Indonesian seaweed producers to understand the sustainability’s principles and standards in cultivating seaweed. It is expected that the cultivation activity will not give any negative impacts to the environment, biodiversity and communities and provide a fair scheme for its workers. All principles and standards discussed here are globally recognized standards, which is ASC-MSC,” Cut Desyana, Aquaculture Coordinator WWF-Indonesia.
WWF Sustainable Fisheries Platform Provides An Access for Industries
From the discussion between participants and speakers, seaweed industries recognize the importance of complying with a globally recognized environmental standard. The ecolabel will eventually mark that the quality of seaweed products is proven and sourced from a responsible farming manner, provide a market guarantee and expand the marketplace as well. Considering that seaweed is one of the biggest Indonesian export product, seaweed business in all levels should be conducted in a responsible manner and commitment towards the environment is guaranteed.
“Celebes Seaweed Group gets a lot of benefit by being a Seafood Savers member since we have a wider access to be involved in seminars and discussions aiming to gather ideas of seaweed business players in practicing responsible seaweed farming,” revealed Muchtar Saleh, Quality Control of Celebes Seaweed Group.
Besides industries in South Sulawesi, the Indonesian Seaweed Industries Association or ASTRULI grasps that the seaweed farming improvement program is essential for their business.
“Joining the seminar we realize that ecolabel is a new era. Producers used to only focus on food security, but now we have a broader picture that in the following years the environmental ecolabel will be a business standard. We do welcome this trend and definitely encourage the acceleration by raising awareness in it,” said Adrian Setiadi, Vice General Secretary of ASTRULI.
“By this seminar, our Seafood Savers AIP will be more focused on the main ecolabel standards for the sake of sustainability and higher quality of Takalar’s seaweed,” added Muchtar Saleh, Quality Control Celebes Seaweed Group.
In sum, business players hold a significant role in the seaweed harvesting and achieving sustainability. A partnership between multi industries and stakeholders will definitely accelerate the responsible and sustainable seaweed farming efforts.
¹ ASC-MSC : The ASC and MSC certification programs are globally recognised as the world’s most credible, science-based standards for sustainable and responsible seafood. All MSC and ASC standards have been developed following the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards and FAO Guidelines.