FIP Update: Indonesia’s pole-and-line and handline fisheries on target towards MSC

An independent evaluation of the IPNLF supported Fishery Improvement Programs (FIPs) in Indonesia has revealed that the fisheries are making good progress, and on target towards Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification.
One-by-one fishing, Indonesia. © IPNLF

An independent evaluation of the IPNLF supported Fishery Improvement Programmes (FIPs) in Indonesia has revealed that the fisheries are making good progress, and on target towards Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification.

IPNLF is assisting several FIP work streams in Indonesia to progress coastal tuna fisheries towards MSC certification. The primary focus is on four units of certification:

  • Pole-and-line skipjack and yellowfin in the Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC);
  • Pole-and-line skipjack and yellowfin in the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC);
  • Hand-line yellowfin in the WCPFC; and
  • Hand-line yellowfin in the IOTC.

These fisheries are engaged in individual FIPs, that nest within and contribute to an overarching national FIP that encompasses all Indonesian tuna fisheries and gears, including pole-and-line, handline, troll, purse seine, and longline. The collaboration and dialogue between these FIPs has led to greater positive impacts, including advances in national tuna management approaches that in turn benefit all fisheries.

IPNLF and our partners undertakes an annual independent evaluation of our FIP work to monitor performance and progress towards MSC standards for sustainability. The evaluation is completed in partnership with WWF to ensure alignment with and support for the overarching national FIP. The full report compiled by the independent FIP evaluator is available for download here.

The fisheries supported by IPNLF and our partners  have shown excellent progress over the last year. The MSC Benchmarking and Tracking Tool (BMT) is used to track fisheries as they improve towards MSC standards for sustainability, and a fishery is recommended to achieve a score of at least 80 BMT before applying for MSC certification. At the beginning of IPNLF’s work in Indonesia, the targeted units of certification were scored in the low-70s using the BMT.

This year’s evaluation has revealed a significant increase in the BMT score, meeting the targets established by Indonesia’s Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF). The evaluation has helped to identify the priority areas for improvement, including strengthening national management and governance for tuna and bait resources. MMAF have committed to commencing the MSC assessment process by the end of 2015.

Unit of Certification BMT score (May 2015)
Pole-and-line skipjack & yellowfin, IOTC 76 / 0.76
Handline yellowfin, IOTC 83 / 0.83
Pole-and-line skipjack & yellowfin, WCPFC 72 / 0.72
Handline yellowfin, WCPFC 80 / 0.80


IPNLF is delighted with the progress and high scores achieved by these fisheries, which signals the tremendous commitment and effort from MMAF and all our partners and stakeholders in Indonesia.

Key achievements in the last 12 months

AP2HI: Despite their inauguration only one year ago, Asosiasi Perikanan Pole & Line dan Handline Indonesia (AP2HI) is rapidly occupying a key role within the FIP process. AP2HI will be the MSC client for these fisheries, and its reputation as a dynamic shared voice for the pole-and-line and handline industry has grown, as has its membership which currently includes 15 fishing operators and processors.

AP2HI’s first Annual General Meeting took place earlier this year, resulting in the adoption of a Code of Conduct by all members, which includes a commitment to sustainable fishing practices, compliance with management regulations and fully traceable products. AP2HI’s FIP Coordinator, Ms Tita Nopitawati, has worked tirelessly to socialise FIP and AP2HI requirements, and to act as the main point of contact for AP2HI members. Tita has conducted training activities for companies in Maluku, North Maluku, East Nusa Tenggara, and North Sulawesi during the reporting period, with a focus on increasing awareness about the FIP process and training members on data reporting requirements and processes.

FIP Steering Committee: Stakeholder collaboration and coordination has been a key focus over the last year, and has resulted in stronger working relationships between the organisations involved. A cross-sector FIP Steering Committee has been established, together with a government MSC Task force, and a number of collaborative agreements signed between parties. This collaborative process has also led to a number of key workshops and events.

National Tuna Harvest Strategy Workshop: Working closely with MMAF, both AP2HI, IPNLF and our partner MDPI, were involved in a National Tuna Harvest Strategy Workshop hosted by MMAF to establish evidence based harvest control measures for Indonesia’s tuna fisheries. These measures will ensure these resources are managed sustainably, and will contribute to priority actions under MSC Principle 3. More information about this process is available in this recent blog post from Andrew Harvey, Country Director for Indonesia.

National Bait Management WorkshopIPNLF and AP2HI also assisted MMAF to host a National Bait Management Workshop in May. Bait management is a priority issue identified by the FIP review and MSC pre-assessment for the pole-and-line skipjack fishery, and improved management will contribute to priority actions under MSC Principle 2. Participants at the workshop included representatives from industry, government, NGOs, academia together with international experts, who reviewed the available data and next steps needed to enhance the management of bait resources. We have produced a number of Technical reports on the issues of baitfish in Indonesia which you can read here.

Data Collection Systems: An important achievement over the last year has been the development and launch of a web-enabled vessel registration and catch reporting system, which will provide the foundations for a traceability system for certified pole-and-line and handline tuna products. This system has been rolled out to AP2HI member vessels, with more than 50 pole-and-line and 350 handline vessels now registered.

Masyarakat dan Perikanan Indonesia (MDPI) were applauded in the annual FIP report for their efforts in data collection on target species, as well as primary and secondary species data. Equally, they have been the proponent in I-FISH, a platform for multi-stakeholder engagement, and data collection and sharing along the supply chain. This includes information such as estimates of annual catch, number of active vessels, ice/fuel usage and information on baitfish use.

ICTBF 4: IPNLF and AP2HI supported the 4th International Coastal Tuna Business Forum in May. This meeting was attended by more than 200 participants spanning government, the international market and buyers, international governments, and Indonesian producers. ICTBF serves as a key event for the international market to promote demand and international requirements for sustainable, high quality tuna products, and to review progress and next steps towards certification.

Next Steps for the FIP

The FIP assessment report has highlighted several priority actions to maintain progress towards MSC certification.

A data analysis and modeling workshop in August 2015 will build upon the earlier Harvest Control Workshop, and culminate in a management planning workshop hosted in November this year. IPNLF and AP2HI will continue to provide expert inputs into a National Bait Management Plan and continue the implementation, training and expansion of a fisheries information system for AP2HI. A Risk-Based Framework Assessment of bait resources will be undertaken in selected areas as well as a review of traceability and chain of custody within supply chains of AP2HI members.