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Arranging Puzzle of Eel Fishing in Indonesia, for A Sustainable Management

Author: Faridz Rizal Fachri(Capture Fisheries Officer) -  


The increasing demand for a traceable, environmentally friendly and responsible seafood product is one of the focuses in improving current fisheries management, both in terms of capture fisheries and aquaculture. This demand actually arises from global seafood consumers who are more concerned about the sustainability of fisheries stocks in nature, especially for export commodities. Not limited to a number of favorite commodities such as tuna and shrimp, increasing awareness of seafood sustainability also occurs in processed-eel consumers.

The characteristics of eel fisheries which are quite unique and full of challenges (read more here) require intensive coordination with several parties involved in these fisheries activities, starting from the government, fishers to industries. Challenges spread from upstream to downstream, such as puzzles needed to be arranged into a series. This work is certainly not easy and requires effective coordination between parties.

Based on this background, WWF Indonesia together with partners held a meeting with stakeholders in the management of sustainable eel fisheries in Indonesia on 29 April 2019. The meeting was attended by: 1) representatives of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) section KKHL, DJPB, Pusriskan , BRPPUPP, 2) Indonesian Institute of Sciences / LIPI, 3) Bogor / IPB Agricultural Institute, 4) PT Iroha Sidat Indonesia and PT Labas, 5) FAO Indonesia industry practitioners and 6) representatives from WWF Japan, and Chuo University.

This meeting discussed the latest updates on the implementation of fisheries improvement both in terms of fishing/FIP and also cultivation/AIP by Achmad Mustofa and Nur Ahyani from WWF Indonesia. A warm discussion emerged in the discussion on fisheries improvement which indeed requires joint work to answer the challenges, such as data collection and implementation of research as management recommendations including analysis of stocks & impacts on habitat-ecosystems, recording and development of traceability or traceablity systems, quality improvement of glass eel (GE) catched for a better SR (Survival Rate), identification of natural inherited diseases from the natural world and the preparation of appropriate regulations to effective management institutions.

The lack of data on eel fisheries is not only experienced by Indonesia, but also in European countries that do the same to prevent the eel resources from being included in CITES Appendix I. For Indonesia, collected data can support the condition of Non-Detriment Findings (NDF), although it is not yet perfect, but at least there is.

“In line with habitat conditions – ecosystems, in addition to fishing activities, the pressure on eel populations is also due to declining environmental quality. This is a shared challenge and inter-ministerial coordination is needed, this can be started with the KKP’s internal policy. Therefore, the synergy of all stakeholders needs to be built because it relates to the management of eel fish lane, “added Mr. Ateng Supriatna, FAO – Indonesia.

Currently the government through the MMAF and recommendations from LIPI are finalizing limited regulations to maintain recruitment and protect broodstock, namely: a) protection of Anguilla bicolor and Anguilla interioris eel in the form of a minimum fishing ban of 2 kg above: b) protection of eels (Anguilla marmorata and Anguilla celebensis) in the form of an arrest ban of a minimum size of 5 kg and above; and c) the protection of eel (Anguilla spp) in the form of a ban on glass eel capture for two days every dark month of the 27th & 28th of Indonesia in all Anguilla species spp.  “This activity is very relevant to the KKP program, together with the SDI team, we will focus on improving the management of eel fisheries. It is hoped that after this, regarding the discussion of this eel rolling we hope that Indonesia will emerge as the party that leads to eel, because of its huge potential and its opportunities are quite wide open, “said Mr. M. Firdaus Agung, Ph.D, KKHL-KKP as well as closing activities.

Broadly speaking, the process of preparing a puzzle for improvement of eel fish fisheries in Indonesia is still in its early stages, so that coordination and cooperation are needed for a better process ahead. This positive thing is the basis for developing more advanced stages towards sustainable eel fisheries resource.

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