Indonesia Continues Progress in Pursuit of End-to-End Seafood Traceability
USAID Oceans has been working in partnership with the Indonesia Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF), 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. Since USAID Oceans’ engagement with Indonesia in 2015, the Government of Indonesia and industry partners have made great bounds in achieving end-to-end traceability. In addition to MMAF’s development of upstream and downstream traceability mechanisms, it has also been working closely with USAID Oceans to pilot data capture tools throughout the supply chain.
To bolster its downstream electronic traceability capabilities, in August 2018, MMAF launched the National Fish Traceability and Stock System (STELINA) to accommodate and comply with international market requirements, including the United States’ Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) and the European Union (EU) regulations which aim to combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and ensure food safety. STELINA is a downstream, government-hosted traceability system led by the Director General of Product Competitiveness of the MMAF. In addition to housing traceability data captured throughout Indonesia’s fisheries, the system will synthesize data from Indonesia’s more than ten existing systems that currently and disparately host fisheries information. STELINA also operates with high interoperability, allowing data exchange between the system of the MMAF and external systems of the private sector (e.g., processing companies), for example when first buyer enters a fishing license number, STELINA will retrieve vessel data from the MMAF fishing license system (SIPEPI) to match and verify.
In August 2018, the MMAF, with the support of USAID Oceans, began piloting STELINA with First Movers, including the Unit Pengelolaan Ikans (UPI) or fish processing units and suppliers, to gather feedback from users and address any issues. Following an initial period of use, one of the main challenges identified was the lack of internet connectivity, a necessity for this web-based traceability system. This has affected data entry and processing, for instance, when data is entered by suppliers or first buyers at the port or at locations without internet signals, delays can be found, and some data inputs may not be properly stored. During the pilot, stakeholders have also provided feedback on the system’s user interface e.g., the user-friendliness of the data entry page. Such issues are currently being addressed by the MMAF’s technical team with a support from USAID Oceans. The partners are also working to improve the speed and efficiency of data verification processes through an automatic data verification. Further testing, including the incorporation of additional users in March 2019, is to be conducted to enhance the capability of the system to meet user requirements.
Looking forward, STELINA intends to further improve traceability for the fisheries sector in Indonesia. The technology provides several benefits to users across the supply chain. At the point of catch, it allows data on transaction e.g., species, volume, climate and locations to be collected, which are useful for fishermen to plan their catch. Suppliers can use such information to monitor their daily transactions and submit them to processors and exporters per their request or requirements. Data collected and stored on STELINA can also be used as a reference for them to earn and manage their financial resources e.g., credits or loans from the bank. For food processers or the UPIs, STELINA can provide useful information for stock balance monitoring and management e.g., amount of fish and transaction data, and pinpoint locations of fishing ports, suppliers and government infrastructure facilities to support their logistics. The system can generate records of data to be declared as export documentations e.g., the Surveyor Export report or the Laporan Surveyor Ekspor (LSE). MMAF also benefits from STELINA, as it provides information on the availability of marine resources that the nation’s food security replies upon, as well as other valuable data that can support the development of effective trade policies to enhance the country’s competitiveness in the global fisheries market and improve fisheries management. STELINA will integrate more than twelve existing fisheries management databases that are currently used by MMAF.
To date, STELINA has been tested with several processors and suppliers. Piloted processors include: PT. SMS; PT SIG ASIA; and PT. Sinar Pure Food International. Suppliers who have tested STELINA are as follows: PT Bintang Mandiri Bersaudara, a supplier of PT. SMS processing company; suppliers of PT. SIG ASIA, including CV Bintang Mujur Abadi, KM Aira star and CV Multi Mina Marina; and PT Sari Usaha Mandiri, a supplier of Sinar Pure Food International. In the coming months, USAID Oceans will continue to support STELINA through stakeholder capacity building for current and potential industry First Movers, an evaluation of the system’s pilot progress; and support to scale STELINA beyond the Bitung learning site.
The launch of STELINA is coupled with another traceability initiative by the Government of Indonesia, announced in October 2018 at the Our Oceans Conference (OOC) held in Bali, Indonesia to “implement the electronic fishing logbook to Indonesian fishing vessels…in collaboration with fishing port authorities (central and local governments), and USAID Oceans to improve the quality and quantity of data as a foundation for making strong policy in fisheries management.” The e-Logbook will be utilized aboard large-scale fishing vessels and will capture data at the point-of catch, to be fed into STELINA to enable traceability throughout the value chain. The e-logbook can be provided to the captain in the form of a tablet with easy to select options for the different categories of entry. Following the conference, USAID Oceans offered its support to MMAF in this initiative, to recruit and provide hardware e.g. 60 tablets, for vessels above 10 gross tons. Vessel owners can also purchase at least one additional tablet to be used on their vessels. Using this co-investment scheme, the MMAF expects to distribute the e-logbook tablets to at least 150 Bitung-based fishing vessels.
USAID Oceans and its partners seek to create connectivity between different traceability tools and technologies to enable data transmission through the entire supply chain and across a range of actors towards a full-chain traceability. STELINA will play an important role in achieving this, along with other traceability technologies, including Pointrek, a two-way communication and vessel monitoring system for at-sea data capture; Trafiz, a mobile application that can record seafood traceability data at the point of landing; and TraceTales, a fully integrated production, inventory system for seafood processors. Learn more about USAID Oceans-supported traceability tools.