Arafura, Aru and Timor Seas Snapper
Fishery Improvement Project
Last Update: April 2013
Current Improvement Recommendations:
- Encourage snapper producers (fishing fleet owners and processors) to participate in this Fishery Improvement Project and develop FIPs for snappers in other fishing grounds they source from.
- Snapper buyers - support their suppliers’ fishery improvement efforts and improve procurement policies that favor fishery sustainability.
- Promote traceability to ensure that the origin and status of snapper products are well-known and all products source from legal fisheries.
- Support research to define stock status of Indonesian snapper and improve the availability of accurate data on catches and bycatch.
- Support the government to improve management and policies encouraging sustainable snapper fisheries
- A comprehensive nationwide biological stock assessment for snapper (Lutjanus spp.) is not available. Therefore, the status of snapper populations in Indonesia cannot be determined against the biological reference points. It is difficult to improve the fishery management without knowing the status and condition of the fish stock.
- Data on the artisanal snapper fisheries is lacking.
- Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a major issue in the Timor and Arafura Seas. It is estimated that between 1980 and 2005, more than 80 percent of demersal fish, mostly red snapper (Lutjanus spp.),harvested from the Arafura Sea using bottom longline was defined as unreported (Wagey et al. 2009 in UNDP 2010).
- Trawls used in the wide shallow shelf of the Arafura Sea pull in bycatch that often exceeds the intended catch.
- On the market side, buyers encounter more regulation (including health and safety issues) and traceability issues for snapper purchases in this region than in other snapper fisheries.
- The existing annual catch data from capture fisheries statistics for Indonesia do not show the annual catch estimate for each species for each type of fishing gear. Retained and bycatch data is limited or not available.
- Improve the availability of accurate data on catches, retained and bycatch, from both artisanal fisheries and larger vessels.
- Support the development of the fisheries management plan in Aru, Arafura, and Timor Seas.
- Promote traceability by engaging supply chains to ensure that the origin and status of snapper products are well-known and all products source from legal fisheries.
Supply chain analysis data for snapper in the Arafura and Timor Seas have been collected by visiting some main landing ports in Probolinggo (East Java) and in east Indonesia (including Papua, Maluku, and East Nusa Tenggara). The work is one of the supporting components of the Arafura and Timor Seas Ecosystem Action (ATSEA) program, a project funded by UNDP/GEF International Waters, to provide a thorough supply chain analysis to understand the snapper fisheries from the region. The project examines the scope of the market, challenges the fisheries are facing, and strategies for addressing these challenges via private-sector alliances and market-based incentives.
SFP has also been in communication with PT Ilufa, one of the major Indonesian snapper processors and producers, to start the FIP process for their artisanal and larger vessels together with their main buyer (North Atlantic). Both PT Ilufa and North Atlantic expressed interest in developing a fishery improvement project for the snapper fishery they are sourcing from. PT Ilufa's snappers come from various locations, including the Aru, Arafura, and Timor Seas. SFP has been assisting potential FIP members to develop a workplan and provide guidance and advice on the implementing activities.
January – March
Some studies and analysis have been completed, including the white paper on the snapper fishery in the Arafura, Aru and Timor Seas and a report on the supply chain analysis for snapper fisheries in the Arafura, Aru, and Timor Seas (under ATSEA – Arafura and Timor Sea Ecosystem Action project). These two reports provide greater detail on our regional strategy to catalyze the improvement project for this fishery.
In March 2012, a FIP agreement was approved and signed by FIP participants (North Atlantic and PT Ilufa).
April – June
In May 2012, a FIP workplan was drafted by FIP participants. The participants agreed to start with improvements such as verifying data collection, improving compliance for monitoring and reducing IUU, and supporting an onboard observer program.
July – September
In August 2012, FIP members discussed FIP budget implementation.
October – December
FIP participants were involved in the meeting with the government (MMAF) on 12 October to update progress on the FIP implementation. The meeting was held in Jakarta and hosted by the office of the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries. Meeting attendees included the Indonesian Tuna Association, Tuna Longline Association, participants of the Arafura, Aru, and Timor Seas Snapper FIP and Indonesian Tuna FIP, fisheries staff, and SFP. The outputs of the meeting were discussion of the observer onboard program and how to improve the fishing vessels’ logbook reporting.
FIP participants start collecting all required documentation concerning fishing regulations, including boat registration and fishing operation. Vessel registration completed for FIP participants and vessels of FIP participants confirmed that all VMS are switch on as requested by the regulators.
January – March
FIP participants provided feedback on the snapper nei (“not elsewhere identified” group of species within the genus, often generically named “red snapper”) FishSource profile for Aru, Arafura and Timor Seas.
Click here for a comprehensive description of FIP results