Blue Swimming Crab Fishers in Cirebon Gears up for More Sustainable Fisheries
01 February 2022
Indonesia is the third-largest producer of blue swimming crabs, yet current practices threaten its survival. How can Indonesia improve fisheries management?
Blue Swimming Crab (BSC) is one of high economic potential of marine fisheries commodities in Indonesia produced mostly by small-scale fisheries (using boats <10 GT). BSC production in Indonesia ranks the third globally after tuna and shrimp. This commodity has a high export demand and selling price. BSC export reaches Rp 4,6 trillion per annum, with the three principal markets including USA (71%), Japan (9%), and Malaysia (7%).
However, the current harvest practices continue to threaten BSC resources. Over-fishing, environmentally harmed fishing gears and unprotected nursery and spawning ground remained serious challenges in the BSC fisheries.
Indonesia Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) and the Food and Agriculture Organizations of the UN (FAO) conducted 3-day joint community assistance to BSC small-scale fishers in Cirebon district of West Java province for supporting the implementation of the BSC harvest strategy and output-control-based capture fisheries management.
Cirebon is one of the BSC central fisheries in Indonesia Fish Management Area (FMA 712) of the Java Sea. FMA 712 produces 47.5% of the total national production for BSC. The community assistance is part of the GEF/FAO project “Enabling transboundary cooperation for sustainable management of the Indonesian seas (ISLME project)”.
MMAF Director General for Capture Fisheries Muhammad Zaini met FAO Representative for Indonesia Rajendra Aryal in Cirebon on Thursday (14/1) to improve collaboration and coordination to support better fisheries management in Indonesia.
“Through this activity, MMAF facilitates fishers to obtain necessary documents and licenses. We also train and motivate them to use the e-logbook to report their fishing activity and catch to ensure traceability in the BSC fisheries,” said Zaini.
Rajendra paid a field visit to witness GEF/FAO ISLME support activity of community assistance for fishers registering their boats and fishing gears and complying with application regulation. With the registration, the government can obtain more accurate data. This activity stimulates increasing fishers compliance, especially small-scale fishers, to the applicable marine and fishery business licensing standard, such as Business Number (NIB) and Fishing Boat Registration (TDKP); as well as to assist the fishermen to activate their e-logbook application for fishing reporting.
“FAO will continue to support the MMAF in implementing ecosystem approach for fisheries management (EAFM). Improved monitoring, reporting and compliance to the applicable regulations are keys for sustainable blue swimming crab fisheries, “said Aryal, FAO Representative in Indonesia.
FAO and MMAF expressed strong commitment for improved collaboration and coordination to ensure sustainable fishery management, including BSC for better wellbeing of fishers, food resilience and provincial and national economic development.
UN entities involved in this initiative
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations