NETUNO to attend FIP meeting in Brazil

By Amanda Longoria, NETUNO USA

NETUNO plans to attend a meeting on March 19th in Brazil for Caribbean Red Snapper FIP. Stakeholders and fishermen will come together to discuss new certification steps, scientific discoveries, stock assessments, better ways to manage the fisheries, and enforcing regulations. They will discuss the progress made in these areas and the challenges to progressing in others. For more details on this FIP and its progress, visit

New fishery improvement projects in Indonesia cover tuna, snapper, and grouper

By Aaron Orlowski, SeafoodSource

Two new fishery improvement projects (FIPs) in Indonesia seek to make significant portions of the country’s valuable tuna and groundfish fisheries, including snapper and grouper, more sustainable. 

The national, industry-led longline tuna FIP was recently announced by Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), which has been working on the project for almost a year. A memorandum of understanding was signed with Indonesia’s Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries earlier this month.

Though multiple FIPs for tuna in Indonesia currently exist for other gear types and fisheries, this one is broader in scope, covering the entire country, and is led entirely by the Indonesia Longline Tuna Association, according to Amber Von Harten, who is the Indonesia supply chain roundtable leader at SFP.

The work plan for the FIP is currently being developed and will address the principles required for Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for five tuna fisheries: Indian Ocean bigeye, yellowfin, and albacore, as well as Pacific Ocean yellowfin and bigeye. 

“They’re going to be looking at harvest strategies for the different species, and looking at interactions with bycatch, and also looking at issues surrounding the health of the stocks,” Von Harten told SeafoodSource. In addition, “there’s a whole governance and policy piece to this in working with the Indonesia government.” 

In Indonesia, there are roughly 300 longline vessels over 30 gross tons. The National Longline Tuna Association covers 233 of those vessels, VonHarten said.  

“This could be a historical milestone for the longline tuna fishery improvement project towards MSC certification,” Dwi Agus Siswa Putra, chairman of the association, said in a statement. “We hope that longline tuna will regain its position as a prominent product from Indonesia that makes all of us proud.”

The tuna FIP will help SFP achieve its goal of having 75 percent of global production of key seafood sectors either sustainable or improving by the end of 2020 – either MSC-certified or making verifiable improvements as part of a FIP or similar program. 

The tuna FIP will be especially helpful for SFP, since national projects are more efficient, covering a greater volume of fish for a similar amount of effort compared to a smaller project. 

The second new FIP in Indonesia, for the groundfish fishery, will help reduce the overharvesting of the juvenile fish that are necessary to keep the fishery producing at maximum sustainable yield. 

Around the world, plate-sized snapper and grouper are popular among restaurateurs and diners, but those smaller fish also tend to be juveniles. Overharvesting the young fish is causing a sustainability problem that the new FIP seeks to address. 

Historically, the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries hasn’t applied a harvest strategy to the fishery. Under the new FIP, companies will share data about catch origin and fish size with the Indonesia government, enabling it to make more informed management decisions.

The FIP, launched in July, covers an array of species: including: various snappers, jobfish, groupers, and emperors. The FIP outlines a plan to improve the fishery. 

“This program is now being held accountable to certain steps that are outlined in this plan,” Peter Mous, the director of The Nature Conservancy’s Indonesia fisheries program, told SeafoodSource. “We are scoring well in terms of monitoring and stock assessment. The critical gap is development of a management plan together with the government.” 

The Nature Conservancy has been working on Indonesia’s groundfish fishery since 2014, though the FIP was officially launched only this year. So far, 10 companies have signed on to the FIP: Norpac Fisheries Export, Anova Food, Bali Sustainable Seafood, LP Foods, Netuno USA, Bahari Biru Nusantara, Graha Insan Sejahtera, Kharisma Bintang Terang, Solusi Laut Lestari, and Sukses Hasil Alam Nusaindo (Shanindo). 

“The companies that signed up for this FIP explicitly made a commitment to sustainability by committing to avoid sourcing juveniles,” Mous said. Good fishery science and policy holds that fish shouldn’t be harvested until they’ve reproduced at least once, Mous added. “That means you want to avoid catching very small ones. (But) small ones were making up a considerable part of the sourcing program.”

The companies themselves have incentive to make the fishery more sustainable.

“Fish caught before they have the ability to spawn cannot contribute to the natural growth of the population,” Norpac founder Thomas Kraft said in a statement. “[But] too often, only fishers are asked to make sacrifices by adopting sustainable fishing practices, which increases their workload and negatively impacts their livelihoods. It is important that the industry as a whole commit to responsible fishing and mitigate the burden on fishers.”

Photo courtesy of Ed Wray/The Nature Conservancy

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Octopus FIP launches off coast of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula

By Undercurrent News

octopus, Yucatan

From left to right: Manuel Sanchez, Builders Coalition; Andre Brugger, Netuno; Luis Burillion, MSC; Mauricio Orellana, Artisan Catch; Javier Van Kleiveren, Smart Fish; Mr. Ong Chee Tiong, LP Foods

The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) on Thursday announced the beginning of a new industry led fishery improvement project (FIP) for octopus caught off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula using drift rods and lines.

The FIP is supported by Netuno USA, Empacadora Promarmex, Orca Seafoods, LP Foods, Comercializadora Healthy Fish and MASPESCA, many of which were represented at the Seafood Expo North America, in Boston, Massachusetts, in March, at a ceremony to sign a memorandum of understanding. The companies pledged then to get the fishery ready for certification by the Marine Stewardship Council within a couple of years.

SFP said the fishery has four goals…

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TNC Indonesia Collaborates with 12 Companies to Save the Indonesian Snapper and Grouper Fishing Industry

By Hariyanto, – Jakarta – The Nature Conservancy (TNC) of Indonesia launched the Comprehensive FIP (Fisheries Improvement Project) for the Indonesian snapper and grouper fishing industry along with twelve fishing companies representing fishermen, local distributors and exporters.
This collaboration with the private sector is carried out to overcome problems in fisheries management in Indonesia. 

In an effort to save the business of US $ 1 million in Indonesian sea-snapper and grouper fisheries, a coalition of domestic and international companies has joined The Nature Conservancy to maintain an industry with more than 100,000 workers and support millions of people throughout world. 

Companies that have approved the Fish Improvement Program (FIP) are Anova Food, LLC; PT. Bahari Biru Nusantara; CV. Bali Sustainable Seafood; Beaver Street Fisheries, Inc. ; PT. Graha Insan Sejahtera; PT. Bright Star Charisma; PT. Manage the Archipelago Sea; LP Foods Pte Ltd. ; Netuno USA Inc .; Norpac Fisheries Export LLC; PT. Solusi Laut Lestari and PT. Nusaindo Natural Results Success.

“Traditional fishermen are the backbone of fisheries. About 70 percent of Indonesian fishermen depend on these livelihoods to support their families, “said TNC’s Fisheries Program Director Dr. Peter Mous in Jakarta, Wednesday (08/14/2019).

“Working closely with the seafood logistics network and the industries involved, we can develop strong management and maintain a sustainable industry for fishermen who rely on the fishing industry,” he said.

FIP is collaborating with twelve companies representing fishermen, local distributors, and exporters from the private sector to overcome problems in fisheries management in Indonesia. 

In this launch, the partners discussed their commitment to not only avoid buying fish that were not yet mature, but also to discuss a long-term plan to monitor catches and establish a credible compliance system. This is needed to meet the requirements of sustainable fisheries standards, such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification.

“The American government is proud to support a comprehensive effort to strengthen sustainable fisheries management in Indonesia,” said Environment Office Director of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Matthew Burton. 

Through the Supporting Nature and People-Partnership for Enduring Resources (SNAPPER) program, continued Burton, his party supports the Indonesian government in developing sustainable fishing strategies and helping the private sector obtain MSC certificates for snapper and deep sea grouper fisheries. 

“These steps can stabilize the fishing industry in the long run, provide opportunities for consumers globally to obtain sustainable seafood from Indonesia and maintain livelihoods for the people of Indonesia,” he said.

“The development of this partnership is an important step towards achieving sustainable fisheries in Indonesia and we hope that more companies will join this program to ensure the future of the snapper and grouper fishing industry,” added TNC Executive Director Rizal Algamar.

At present, there are around 80 FIP projects around the world, from tuna in the Indian Sea to lobsters off the coast of Nicaragua in the Caribbean. FIP is assessed periodically based on the progress of achievements, from Very Developing / Advanced (A) to Invisible / Inegligible (E). 

The latest FIP ​​initiative guided by TNC in collaboration with partners is part of projects funded by various institutions such as USAID / Indonesia, the Walton Family Foundation, and the Packard Foundation to create a sustainable fishing industry. 

This project is carried out under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the Republic of Indonesia. The program also works with various national and provincial level institutions to design management plans and capture strategies.

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FIP for Mexican octopus gets the green light

By Undercurrent News

The long-awaited fisheries improvement project (FIP) for Mexico’s Yucatan octopus is now underway after a group of Mexican producers, processors and international exporters met to sign a memorandum of understanding at the Seafood Expo North America show this week.

Led by US seafood importer Netuno USA, the group included the companies Artisan Catch, Promarmex, Mas Pesca, Smart Fish, and LP Foods. Collectively, the firms have pledged to get the fishery to a level ready for certification from the Marine Stewardship Council within a couple of years.

Mauricio Orellana, managing director of Artisan Catch, said: “This FIP is designed to foster sustainable octopus fishing in the Yucatan and the central aim of the project will be to establish long-term economic benefits for our small-scale fisherman and expediting access to global markets interested in responsibly-sourced octopus.”

Mexico is the third-largest producer of octopus worldwide, registering 39,000 metric tons in volume in 2017. The Yucatan region itself produces 12,000 tons every year, which is then primarily exported to Europe and Asia.

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Rapidly Growing Number of Seafood Companies Join The Nature Conservancy to Save Indonesia’s Snapper/Grouper Fishery

By Rachel Winters, The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

BOSTON—Snapper, one of the most popular fish fillets ordered in US restaurants, is often anything but snapper when it shows up at your table, according to one investigation released earlier this month. But even real snapper comes at a cost: Flaky, whole fillets that fit attractively onto one’s dinner plate are usually sourced from immature fish harvested before they could reproduce. And that has startling implications for the health of many of the world’s marine fisheries, including Indonesia’s — the world’s largest snapper/grouper fishery. 

Seeking to help shift this trend toward a sustainable model, five companies today, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), signed an agreement Sunday at the Seafood Expo North America in Boston to avoid buying juvenile fish from the Indonesia snapper/grouper fishery, joining the ranks of now 10 major fish processors and importers that have all signed on to this growing movement.

While bigger may be better with some types of fish, the American market is currently driving demand for smaller snapper. But a market preference for these juvenile fish is impairing the long-term sustainability of the fishery. Avoiding the purchase of immature fish, on the other hand, ensures that each fish can contribute to the reproductive cycle at least once.

Earlier this year, three US-based companies—Norpac Fisheries Export, Netuno USA (the largest U.S. importer of frozen snapper) and Anova Food—made commitments to a minimum trading size for snapper/grouper. Together, such agreements will enhance traceability and transparency in Indonesia’s fisheries, and will position this fishery for formal recognition of its sustainability, such as certification to Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) sustainability standards.

“Indonesia has made significant strides in protecting its fisheries. But the real cost of consumer preference for smaller snapper and grouper in the US is quickly mounting, both for local fishing communities and biodiversity,” said Charles Bedford, regional managing director of TNC’s Asia Pacific program. That’s what makes the new commitments from these fishing industry giants to save Indonesia’s snapper/grouper stocks so powerful. By getting juvenile fish harvesting out of the supply chain, and changing the incentive system for what fishers target, we can help achieve a more sustainable snapper/grouper fishery for Indonesia—from bait to plate.”

A seafood producer of increasing global prominence, Indonesia is home to the world’s second-largest fisheries and the third-largest aquaculture sector. A key fishery for the nation is its snapper/grouper fishery: Here, an estimated 10,000 fishing vessels, from motorized canoes to large ships, catch about 80,000 metric tons annually, with an estimated retail value of nearly U.S. $350 million.

However, government assessments indicate this sprawling deep-slope fishery comprising over 100 species of snapper, grouper and emperor is in trouble: the Indonesian National Commission for Fish Stock Assessment rates the snapper/grouper fishery as fully exploited or over exploited.

“The Indonesian snapper fishery has been a mainstay of the seafood industry for fishers and processors alike for decades,” Blane Olson, managing director for Anova Technical Services, said. “Given the strong continuous market demand in the United States and the growing demand for snapper from China, it is imperative that today, we work collaboratively to ensure that all snapper are harvested sustainably, and of a size that ensures sustainable replenishment.

“Consequently, plate-size snapper fillets, which come mainly from immature snapper, are no longer acceptable as a harvestable and marketable size. To make the switch, the whole supply chain, including supermarket retail and food service markets, must also be accountable and eliminate the demand for immature snappers, which puts fisheries at risk of being unsustainable,” Olson said.

Supporters of the snapper agreement, known as a Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP), are:

  • Netuno USA Inc.
  • Norpac Fisheries Export LLC
  • Anova Food LLC
  • PT. Solusi Laut Lestari
  • CV. Bali Sustainable Seafood
  • LP Foods Pte Ltd.
  • PT. Sukses Hasil Alam Nusaindo
  • PT. Bahari Biru Nusantara
  • PT. Kemilau Bintang Timur
  • PT. Graha Insan Sejahtera

“We know that the availability of high-value fish, such as tuna and red snapper, is declining due to overfishing,” PT. Graha Insan Sejahtera, a processing company in Indonesia, said in a statement. “This is a very serious problem, not just for us as a company, but also for hundreds of thousands of Indonesians who make a living by fishing. …We believe that we need to start and make changes before it is too late.”

Through the Supporting Nature and People–Partnership for Enduring Resources (SNAPPER) Project, TNC has collaborated with United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, local fishers and other key partners to enhance the sustainability and profitability of snapper/grouper capture fisheries in Indonesia. 

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