Aquaculture holds an important role in food security. The high demand of food drives food producers, including aquaculture producers, to optimally provide food supply. However, the process to provide food stock in massive scale brings harm to the environment. Some of the negative impacts from this activity include conversion of mangrove forest as ponds, the usage of ground water and chemical compounds that pollute the environment around the pond, and the potential of the spread of zoonosis disease that can harm the farmed commodity. (Bhari & Visvanathan, 2018). These issues can disturb the aquaculture activity in the long term, hence disturbing the production. Therefore, the aquaculture actors need to adopt improvement steps in order to bring eco-friendly and sustainable aquaculture so their activity can last for the long run.
PT Surya Alam Tunggal (PT SAT) is one of the companies that answer the call for sustainable aquaculture. This company is active in shrimp processing business and chose Seafood Savers as its partner to help implementing sustainable aquaculture. PT SAT registered whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) as their target commodity for aquaculture improvement program in one of its supply chains. The MMAF announced this type of shrimp as superior commodity in 2001 and is in high demand in the market, thus this commodity can bring productivity for shrimp industries in Indonesia along with giant tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) which was also registered by PT SAT before.
In contrast, the rising star commodity eel (Anguilla sp.) is also a commodity worth development. Eel has arguably high value mainly in the global market, which is the main reason of why its development is highlighted by Indonesian government and business actors. However, eel farming holds many challenges in its development, especially with the fact that it has low survival rate (mainly in the first phase of farming) and no hatchery. (Mingzhong et al., 2013). From these challenges, the government urges the people to implement sustainable eel farming so that it can sustain market demand in the long run. (Kementerian Kelautan dan Perikanan, 2018). For this matter, PT Ika Nusa Windutama (PT INW) answers the call to implement sustainable eel production and joined Seafood Savers in December 2020.
Business and ecological motivation can go hand in hand. During an interview on why the two companies chose to commit implementing sustainable aquaculture, PT SAT and PT INW answered that sustainable environment can help sustaining their productions. PT SAT thinks that by implementing sustainable aquaculture, industry can also help sustaining the environment and the ecosystem. Fish resources will stay in-stock sustainably and export can go smoothly so industries can also help in producing foreign exchange. Moreover, PT INW added that sustainable aquaculture practices can help sustaining national economy so that the global market can acknowledge Indonesia even more. By practicing sustainable aquaculture, industries can also benefit from ecolabel certification that boosts their product values.
From their fresh membership in the Seafood Savers to implement sustainable aquaculture, PT SAT and PT INW open new opportunities to get Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification as one of the alternatives to manifest sustainable aquaculture. In the business scheme, certification guarantees the quality of a product and adds value to the product. For that reason, the two companies expect that ASC certification can expand their business in aquaculture. The global acknowledgement to sustainable product adds value to the product and competitiveness against other processors and exporters.
PT SAT and PT INW are a few examples of companies that commit in implementing sustainable aquaculture. Other companies like PT Bumi Menara Internusa, PT Mega Marine Pride, Celebes Seaweed Group, PT Bogatama Marinusa, PT IAMBEU Mina Utama, PT Iroha Sidat Indonesia, dan PT Minanusa Aurora are also in the same boat of sustainable aquaculture.