Businessmen expect for positive incentive and support from the government when they are successful in obtaining certification on environmentally-friendly fishery products. In addition to that, fishery businessmen also expect for simplification and facility in processing the environmentally-friendly fishery certification scheme. These expectations were delivered in 2-day Seafood Savers Plenary Meeting on 14-15 February 2012 in Shangri-La Hotel. The meeting was attended by representatives from the Directorates of Foreign Marketing and Fishery Resources (SDI) from the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (KKP), dozens of local and international fishery businessmen, Indonesia Chamber of Commerce (Kadin), investors, academics, and marine observer community.
The incentives expected by the businessmen is a form of payment for environmental services that they have done in saving the fishery stock and in putting efforts for natural resources conservation. Roosdinal Salim, a representative from Kadin expressed that the adopted certification should become the standard acknowledged by all parties, so that other claims of certificate forms can be prevented. Therefore, the authority which can work in collaboration with several independent parties should initially establish things like logistics, infrastructures, and accessible and reliable management.
Some parties begin to feel the decreasing fishery stock, as perceived by Heru Purnomo, an exporter of live reef fish to Hong Kong and China, in the last decade. Ten years ago, his business was run in the exploitative area in the western of Indonesia. Today, his company moves the catch area to the central part of Indonesia. Realizing the impacts of excessive catch, Heru starts applying strict rules to fishermen supplying fish to his company; such as, the rules on minimum and maximum catch weights, not to use potash/cyanide, and fishing only in the designated area. However, Heru feels that his efforts are now followed by other businessmen. This is reflected from the number of catches which decreased by 30% in 2010 from 2009; and 30% decrease in 2011 from 2010. Heru estimates that the central part of Indonesia will survive only until the next 4-5 years if there is no comprehensive policy breakthrough in fishery sector.
During the same occasion, Saut Hutagalung, the Director for Foreign Marketing of KKP stated that the Indonesian fisheries export number increased to USD 3.31 million in 2011 from USD 2.86 million in 2010. However, this increase does not reflect positive comparison with the catch number from the nature; in the same period, tuna increased only 1.02%. Heru’s and Saut’s statements are in line with the statement conveyed by Hary Christijanto, the Head of SDI’s Marine Territory Sub-division of KKP saying that in average the fisheries management areas in Indonesia have reached a status of fully exploited.
Shangril-La Hotel, represented by the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) division, Zainal Arifin stated that they are ready to step further in meeting consumers’ growing demand on the environmentally-friendly fisheries products. Currently the hotel has just removed shark fin soup from the restaurant menu since 17 January 2012. Further, they hope with the Seafood Savers scheme developed by WWF-Indonesia, they can improve to a better level.
This two-day meeting has become one of the important milestones for Seafood Savers journey since the first initial meeting in October 2009. During this Seafood Savers meeting, WWF published a guideline for the institutions interested in joining and improving their business practices. Today, around 12 companies have submitted their applications to join in Seafood Savers and will immediately start the assessment stage and meet the mandatory requirements.