Berita & Publikasi

WWF Encourages Fishers in Berau to Apply Proper Handling and Packing Techniques

Translated: Cynthia Nurcahya

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Tanjung Batu (20/5)– A number of fishers gathered at Fisheries Office (Economic Agency of Fisheries Development), Tanjung Batu, Pulau Derawan district, Berau Regency, East Kalimantan. They attended training on how to do the post handling, keeping the fish fresh in the hands of consumersgiven by Totok Yudhiyanto, production division staff of PT. Indomarind, Batam. Besides providing proper handling and packing modules, some tutorial videos and photos were also displayed during the training.

The activity in Berau was part of a training series on handling and packing fresh fishery products organized by Marine Program of WWF-Indonesia on May 20, 2011. This activity engaged representatives from some fishing groups and middlemen targeted to participate in Seafood Savers program in Berau, East Kalimantan. The attendees comprised representatives from Kabilahian fisher group, LEPP, Fisher Network (Jaringan Nelayan/JALA) of Tanjung Batu, and UD Mutiara Tanjung Batu, and several middlemen from Biduk – Biduk district, and Balikukup village.

“Principally, handling wild caught and cultured fish is similar, we have to make sure that everything is clean and the quality of the fish should be maintained during the process,” Totok explained.

Handling and packing in general are common techniques that most of the fishers already knew. However, the fishers were not quite familiar with the theory. Therefore, training was given in order to develop standard methods and improve capacity of the fishers on how to do proper handling and packing. It is hoped that the quality of the fish products will be improved and maintained, so they can reach broader market, and more income will be generated.

“Through this activity, fishers and middlemen hopefully will understand that they don’t have to fish indiscriminately by conducting bomb or cyanide fishing, or any other destructive method in order to get more profit. By applying proper handling and packing techniques as well as environmentally fishing practices, they will have opportunity to gain bigger revenues,” Candhika Yusuf, Fisheries Officer of WWF-Indonesia, said.

It should be noted that the fish caught from destructive fishing methods (bomb or cyanide fishing) tend to be physically damaged, easily deteriorated and having low quality, so the price in the market must be falling.

Marine Program of WWF-Indonesia also develops Best Management Practices (BMPs). The BMP document contains the guidelines of environmentally friendly fishing practices and specifications (size: length and weight) of catchable fish. Only fish that have reproduced at least once areallowed to catch. The specifications however vary, since every reef fish species have their own distinct specification. For example, the minimum catchable size of Plectropomus maculatus(spotted coralgrouper) is 54 cm, Cromileptes altivelis(humpback grouper) 39 cm, and Lutjanus malabaricus (Malabar blood snapper) 56 – 57.6 cm. The difference in minimum catch size is cause by the variations on reproductive cycle. Grouper and snapper fisheries BMP gives further explanation on minimum catch size of various grouper and snapper species.

By setting minimum catch size, it is hoped that fish can reproduce at least once before getting captured. Therefore, the populations will have chance to rebuild or recover, and the fish stocks will be well maintained,” Chandika said.

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