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Sustainable Fisheries Efforts, What is the Role of Consumers?

Author: Debora Pane(Seafood Savers Intern) -  
Translated: Arif Fajar Sulistyo

The presence of Sustainable fisheries is to ensure fish populations maintain for the next generation. Overfishing and illegal fishing practices often occur in Indonesia. Therefore, sustainable fisheries practices continue to be intensified to save fisheries resources in Indonesia.

VALPARAISO, CHILE - MARCH 17, 2014: A customer leaves the Valparaiso market with bags of fresh fish.
VALPARAISO, CHILE – MARCH 17, 2014: A customer leaves the Valparaiso market with bags of fresh fish.

Addressing sustainable fishing practices, who benefits?

Sustainable fisheries are an effort to preserve natural resources is sought out to be a way to support the needs of consumers in sustainably obtaining nutrient-rich fish. On the other hand, the practice of sustainable fisheries is considered not only to protect nature and natural resources but also to support the sustainability of businesses and enterprise parties engaged in this field.

Numerous fish and sea species continue to decrease due to overfishing and illegal fishing practices.  Overtime if overfishing continues, it would threaten fish stocks and reproduction without pondering the future. Examples of marine species classified as overfished are banana prawn and scad¹. Imagine if a fish species which we consume daily suddenly become rare, or difficult to find due to overfishing or whether fish stocks are limited, most certainly the price of the fish will be high. Added the fact that if the practice continues to occur, it doesn’t rule out that one day, specific fish species will become extinct. Fishers will become one of the disturbed parties since they will lose their livelihood. As consumers, we can participate in supporting sustainable fisheries.

How to?

Choosing seafood products which have been processed sustainably is one way to be a smart consumer in choosing sustainable seafood products. How to know what sort of seafood products which has assured the processed sustainably? The existence of an ecolabel on the product is one of them. These ecolabels include MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) for capture fisheries products and ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) for aquaculture.

Consumers also have the right to be more vocal in expressing their demand for sellers to receive quality seafood products that are environmentally friendly and sustainable. With the desire and needs for environmentally friendly products, it will undoubtedly drive the fisheries business to pay attention to the practices they use to match what consumers want.

Triplepundit, in his article, stated that consumer purchasing power affects the market. When many consumers ask for a particular type of product, of course, the market will try to meet consumer demand. So, we can be wiser to consume certain types of fish². Triplepundit also expresses to become consumers who dare to try. For example, if you like groupers whose stock is currently declining³, it would be better if you try other seafood, such as skipjack4 which are not included in the list of endangered fish.

Let’s start to become smart consumers “We choose to save!”



1 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. General Situation of of World Fish Stocks. Link Source. July 29, 2019

2 Lee, Jan. 2014. Link Source. July 26, 2019.

3 Dinas Perikanan Kabupaten Buleleng. 2019. Link Source. July 29, 2019

4 IUCN-RedList. 2011. Link Source. July 29, 2019

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