Connecting the Seafood Supply Chain: Traceability Solutions in Indonesia

Since 2015, the Oceans and Fisheries Partnership (USAID Oceans) has worked in partnership with the Indonesia Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) and a network of Indonesian local government, private sector and non-governmental partners to develop and implement an electronic catch documentation and traceability (eCDT) system in the program’s learning site of Bitung, Indonesia. The eCDT system is designed to connect each link in the seafood supply chain for full traceability, with the aim to improve fisheries management, human welfare, and support sustainable, prosperous global fisheries trade.

Southeast Asia’s seafood supply chains are complex and are currently challenged by limited connectivity, a lack of coordinated efforts, and an unavailability of technology that can support these conditions. As such, USAID Oceans and its technology partners have worked together to identify eCDT tools and solutions that establish connectivity in remote and at-sea areas, provide a mechanism for data collection, and enable data transmission through the entire supply chain and across a range of actors.

“Currently, fish are traveling faster than their data – this system will change that,” said Farid Maruf, USAID Oceans’ Regional Catch Documentation and Traceability Specialist, in the program’s recent Learning Exchange for ASEAN and Coral Triangle member countries.

In the program’s pursuit of full-chain traceability, USAID Oceans has developed a unique solution for each step in seafood supply chain; from bait to plate. Let’s take a look at USAID Oceans’ suite of traceability tools to connect the supply chain.

Step 1: At-Sea Capture (Point of Catch)

Technology: Pointrek/Inmarsat Two-Way Communication Vessel Monitoring System (VMS)

The Pointrek two-way communication vessel monitoring system (VMS), unlike traditional VMS, allows communication to and from a command center or shoreside users and the vessel. Typically, VMS is used by government authorities as an instrument to track locations, monitor activities and movement of fishing vessels; and by fleet owners as a tool for fishing fleet management. With technological advances, Pointrek’s VMS functionalities have been expanded to include two-way communication and real-time catch reporting.

For: Large and Medium-Scale Vessels

User: Captain/Fisher

How it Works:

Sisfo developed Pointrek as a web-based application which can connect via Inmarsat’s satellite networks to monitor the movement of vessels, including data such as: speed, heading, distance, weather information and two-way communications. Pointrek VMS provides real-time VMS and electronic catch data (e-logbook) via handheld device (tablet). The system offers person-to-person (P2P) communication from ship to shore through onboard Wi-Fi connected mobile devices via text message, email, and conventional SMS technology.


  • Hybrid satellite-cellular communication with auto switch over technology
  • Catch Reporting app to enable at sea data capture
  • Internal fleet monitoring and management including telemetry data
  • Local Wi-Fi connectivity with limited internet connection to the crew
  • Person to person simple text communication (i.e., crew to family)
  • Geo-Fencing
  • Emergency and Distress Locator
  • Alerts and Broadcast
  • Complies with Indonesian logbook (Ministrial Decree 48/2014), MMAF logbook and Catch Certificate System

Step 2: Landing

Technology: Trafiz (Mobile Application)

To address the many challenges faced by small-scale fishers in providing traceability data, USAID Oceans is developing “Trafiz,” a mobile catch documentation application that enables the first buyer or fish supplier to collect and submit traceability data, as at-sea data entry solutions available for medium- and large-scale vessels via the Pointrek system are not suitable or cost-efficient for small-scale vessels. USAID Oceans has commissioned a software developer to provide application development and support services. “Trafiz is designed to be less burdensome for the user. We’ve studied data entry patterns and preferences amongst our users to reduce redundancies, enhance user experience, and include features that bring them additional personal and business benefits,” notes USAID Oceans’ Regional CDT Specialist, Farid Maruf. Trafiz will be first tested and implemented in the Indonesia learning site of Bitung, with expansion to other regional partners to follow. Trafiz and its source code will be released as an open source tool using public domain after development and testing have been completed.

For: Small-Scale Vessels

User: Buyer/Broker

How it Works:

Trafiz is an Android mobile application for small-scale fish suppliers that will serve as the first data entry point in the seafood supply chain, implemented with small-scale fish buyers and brokers at the landing point. The application will enable the user to enter catch data via their Android device, and submit data via cellular connectivity.


  • Capture data in the chain from fishing vessel to fish supplier in ports where the fish is landed.
  • Provide a tool for the supplier to record catch data, with additional added-value business management tools, such as sales and loan management.
  • Comply with national and international (US, EU) government requirements for small-scale catch reporting.
  • Accommodates off-line and on-line environments, allowing users to capture and process the transaction without connectivity (data is transmitted once re-connected).

Step 3: Processing

Technology: TraceTales

With TraceTales, processing companies can quickly and easily compile the information required by various national and international traceability requirements, thereby ensuring the company’s access to valuable export markets.

User: Processing Company

How it Works:

TraceTales’ system hardware is configured on a local network with a centralized database in the server, and can be accessed simultaneously by multiple workstations. By using touchscreen monitor devices, users can enter data quickly and accurately in time with the processing activity. Digital scales connected directly to the system feed the direct values to the system, avoiding input errors. The system provides print labels for each packaged box, consisting of product information that can be used to trace the product through processing.

TraceTales not only enables data capture and entry, but analysis as well. The setup module allows the user to configure setup data initially and easily manage data for future changes. The transaction module allows users to manage data from receiving, cutting, trimming, packing, loading and shipping. As a result, the system manages summary transactions for each stage of processing based on internal lot codes. The purpose is to be able to trace the products, manage byproducts and conduct an inventory.

TraceTales enables data recording systems to be converted from manual to digital. TraceTales allows simultaneous data entry during throughout the processing stages, providing summary data, sending data to excel files if further analysis is required, and provides graphical data analysis to help decisions making quickly and efficiently. TraceTales provides more benefits for your business to reduce data error, reduce paper files, improve traceability and inventory, real time analysis, electronic data sharing, easy to customize, more user friendly and affordable.


  • Data management, from receiving through shipping to customer
  • Support business analysis and decisions making through by-product management and stock inventoty
  • Provides graphic-based data analysis to assist in decision making
  • Eliminates paper-based data collection, enabling continuous data collection and recording
  • Produces product labels using QR codes with detailed information on the origin and processing of a seafood product

Step 4: Sale of Product(s) to Domestic and International Markets

The data gathered throughout the supply chain, using the above technology, is used to populate domestic and international certificates and paperwork that are required for sale/export. With valid full chain data captured, products arrive at national and international markets with the data required to meet domestic and international requirements. Consumers are able to make informed decisions about the seafood they are purchasing, equipped with information on the product they are purchasing.

The Indonesia Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) is working to develop an internal downstream traceability system, the Sistem Telusur Stok Ikan dan Produk Perikanan (STSIPP). USAID Oceans is supporting MMAF in the development of the STSIPP through technical advice for system interoperability and use in sustainable fisheries management planning. The STSIPP connects over 12 separate, existing government databases and data systems.

Type: Feature Article | Author: USAID Oceans and Fisheries Partnership | Date: 1 August, 2018 | Subject: Catch Documentation and Traceability | Country: Indonesia