Indonesia’s Tuna Catch Under Tight Regulation for Sustainability

Indonesia’s tuna catch is the biggest worlwide at about one million tons a year, equivalent to 16% of the total global tuna supply.
Indonesia’s tuna catch is the biggest worlwide at about one million tons a year, equivalent to 16% of the total global tuna supply.

Indonesia’s tuna catch is under tight regulation for sustainability to keep the wild stock from declining.

Strategy to Help Indonesia’s Tuna Catch from Dropping

Compared to other countries, Indonesia’s tuna catch is by far the largest every year. The government has implemented a short-term harvest approach for the past four years. It includes harvest regulations and monitoring skipjack, bigeye, and yellowfin tuna. However, the country’s fisheries ministry stated that a particular nationwide harvest method would be critical for keeping the natural resources from diminishing.

The organized tuna catch scheme will likewise help the government’s current drive to attain sustainability accreditation for its fisheries. Additionally, it aims to open them to the burgeoning worldwide demand for eco-labeled seafood. Considerably, Indonesia’s tuna catch relies on the Asian country’s small-scale handline fishers. The said verification upholds the access of Indonesia’s tuna products to the global market.

Indonesia Leads Global Tuna Fishery

Indonesia tops the yearly global tuna fishery valued at over $40 billion. Based on the government’s data, the country snatched an average of over 628,000 metric tons of fish from 2012 to 2018.

Some analysts honored the projected inception of a nationwide tuna harvest system. A possible regulation could apply to a specific area with a stock that drops below 40% in its natural level. For this reason, a fishery manager will enforce a closed season of a hundred days.

“Formalizing a harvest strategy is one way to show progress towards [sustainability] certification, and therefore these two concepts are closely linked. The challenge for Indonesia, of course, is to demonstrate positive impact at sea, based on actual data and sound analysis,” said Peter Mous, director of the sustainable fisheries program at Bali-based NGO Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN).

Longline Fishing Fleet Expansion of Indonesia’s Tuna Catch

Indonesia plans to expand its longline fishing fleet in the high seas. It’s a part of the nation’s plan for a world-leading sustainable tuna fishery by 2025. Moreover, the progression is a part of the endeavor to utilize the additional harvest quota that regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) gave to the country. These organizations include the Inter-Atlantic Tropical Tuna Commission, Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna, and Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

Indonesia continues to develop a high-sea tuna fleet following the ban of foreign fishing vessels from catching in the country’s waters. Figures from the fisheries ministry exhibit the number of approved tuna vessels bigger than 30 gross tonnages almost rocketed to 664 from 2017 to 2020.

Along with the said aspirations, Indonesia plans to regulate the number of operating fish aggregating devices. It also wants to temporarily suspend tuna fishing in the Banda Sea to protect juveniles. Lastly, the government wants to minimize the vessels’ carbon footprint. The Pacific and Indian oceans’ fishing grounds, which Indonesia dominates, are already completely preyed on. Several different tuna species are at risk of overfishing.

Handline Yellowfin Tuna Fishing

The handline yellowfin fishing comprises approximately 2% of Indonesia’s tuna catch regularly. This fishing method has nearly no bycatch, meaning catching a species while fishing for another. Bycatch, including sharks and sea turtles, are just minimal. It doesn’t reach the seabed, thus, has no adverse effect on marine habitat.

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