Indonesia / 5 min read
Udang Macan Hitam
Shrimp, mainly harvested in Asia, is one of the most valuable seafood products globally. As the demand for shrimp increases, major producing countries are improving their yields. However, given international market standards and environmental and social impacts, competition for small-scale producers has increased dramatically.
Global fish stocks are steadily declining due to exploitation. While aquaculture has eased demands on wild fisheries and supported markets, various challenges persist.
The Asian Seafood Improvements Collaborative (ASIC) raises awareness and promotes sustainable seafood management in Southeast Asia by empowering small-scale producers. Its place-based mission mobilizes sustainability in the seafood industry through narratives that capture the powerful realities of small-scale farmers.
As one of the biggest shrimp-producing countries, Indonesia is home to manyshrimp farms with unique practices. We connected with local farmers and community groups about the challenges and successes of building responsible shrimp production.
In Pinrang Regency, one of Indonesia’shighest Monodon shrimp-producing regions, there is a local organization called KONTINU. This Indonesian shrimp monitoring group supports responsible cultivation of black tiger shrimp through information sharing. KONTINU’sgoal is to boost shrimp production in Pinrang. Many shrimp farmers in the area have turned to traditional practices to increase their yields. . They can produce approximately 5,000 – 6,000 tons per year of shrimp, which is mostly exported to Japan.
KONTINU drives programs that promote environmental awareness and support livelihoods through black tiger shrimp cultivation. However, black tiger shrimp production has decreased in recent years. Many farmers have shifted to whiteleg shrimp culture due to higher yields and post larvae availability.
The often untold story of seafood is one of hard work. ASIC’s mission to improve the livelihoods of seafood producers through inclusive and sustainable practices is simple, but the journey is complex. What follows are some of those stories.
Abdul Waris Mawardi, a farmer and local health worker in Pinrang, has been jumping into the shrimp ponds since 1995. His parents passed him their knowledge of black tiger shrimp cultivation.. He and his wife, Ibu Akib, run farm operations in addition to their full-time jobs. Waris works for a public health facility in Lanrisang, Pinrang while Ibu Akib is pursuing s teaching.
Waris introduced us to Phronima, the endemic amphipod that lives in Pinrang’s water. Because shrimp cultivation is native to Pinrang and relies on natural ecosystems, farmers must maintain Phronima levels. Shrimp farmers will inoculate the waters with Phronima before releasing them into ponds.
Waris also practices polyculture, the first to do so in Pinrang. He grows white snapper alongside the black tiger shrimp. His innovative system cultivates natural predator fish and fetches a high price. Many local farmers have followed in his footsteps. Waris’ methods have intrigued local aquaculture researchers as well, who bring their experiments to his pond and have him speak at local events. Waris and Akib are active in their local community, encouraging others to innovate and collaborate, as well as and support women in aquaculture.
Hasmia, a rural shrimp farmer, lives on a nearby farm, and manages a shrimp and milkfish polyculture farm. When her husband passed, Hasmia took over the farm’s operation to feed her family and make ends meet. Her primary consideration is to maintain water quality. Constantly monitoring, she maintains awareness of her pond’s health. If the farm’s water quality deteriorates, she avoids severe contamination and health risks by applying organic treatments. While her vigilance allows her greater control over her one-woman operation, Hasmia’s neighbors and community are crucial when faced with shrimp farming’s typical challenges.
One of Hasmia’s neighbors, Syahruni. also run another shrimp and milkfish polyculture farm, developing optimal habitat quality. She utilizes dedak or rice bran made from rice seed husks as an organic fertilizer to support shrimp growth. It builds healthy bacteria and fertilizes plankton (including phronima) in the pond, which is essential for shrimp’s diet. Syahruni was immersed in farming practices, working the pond with her father at a young age. Today, she manages the entire operation, implementing sustainable farming practices.
After a three to six month period, full-grown shrimp are ready for harvest. Pinrang’s black tiger shrimp harvesting method is unique. Most farms in Indonesia depend on seasonal harvest methods, but sustainable methods are practiced in Pinrang..As shrimp typically grow at variable rates, only partial harvesting is performed to catch the matured shrimp, allowing smaller shrimp to reach optimal growth.
From shrimp hatch to harvest, men and women both play a vital role. Though men usually take on more physically demanding tasks, women sell the harvest in the market. As families and local communities, small-scale shrimp farmers support and empower one another to pursue responsible practices and sustainable solutions.
The biggest problem producers face today is the rapidly depleting stock of baby black tiger shrimp. . Weather conditions play a critical factor in the decrease of shrimp, impacting the sensitive cultivation process. However, ASIC works with farmers, local communities, and processors to alleviate these problems.
With the initiative to reconcile market requirements ASIC has co-created solutions designed to addressindustry stakeholders’ needs, including small-scale farmers and create pathways for improvements. These pathways are the ASIC Shrimp Standards and the Social and Gender Standards. As a result, over 200 farms and farmers in Indonesia and Vietnam have engaged in workshops and training to utilize and uphold these practices.
OXFAM’s GRAISEA program, in collaboration with ASIC, has connected with local communities to improve the livelihoods of small-scale farmers. Value-added workshops train female farmers to make milkfish dishes called abon or make dedak as an organic fertilizer. These various tools and programs add value to local products while simultaneously promoting environmental and social protection measures. In the wake of these programs, female farmers have formed a support organization called Kelompok Berkah, which means Prosperous Community.
The future of food security and environmental and social sustainability rely on our commitment to collaborative change. By empowering small-scale farmers to collectively practice methods of diversification and habitat preservation, these communities are building their livelihoods in aquaculture with sustainability at the center.
Growing for diversity doesn’t only mean growing diverse crops. It also means growing diverse farmers, especially youth. For a new generation of farmers and food entrepreneurs, biodiversity creates new opportunities. New markets, new value added products, and hope for a better future.
Fish that is raised in controlled pens that exist within lakes, oceans or rivers, as well as fish raised in large tanks.
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Providing best water quality conditions to ensure optimal living condition for growth, breeding and other physiological needs
Water quality is sourced from natural seawater with dependency on the tidal system. Water is treated to adjust pH and alkalinity before stocking.
Producers that own and manages the farm operating under small-scale farming model with limited input, investment which leads to low to medium production yield
All 1,149 of our farmers in both regencies are smallholder farmers who operate with low stocking density, traditional ponds, and no use of any other intensification technology.
Safe working conditions — cleanliness, lighting, equipment, paid overtime, hazard safety, etc. — happen when businesses conduct workplace safety audits and invest in the wellbeing of their employees
Company ensure implementation of safe working conditions by applying representative of workers to health and safety and conduct regular health and safety training. The practices are proven by ASIC standards’ implementation
Implementation of farming operations, management and trading that impact positively to community wellbeing and sustainable better way of living
The company works with local stakeholders and local governments to create support for farmers and the farming community in increasing resilience. Our farming community is empowered by local stakeholders continuously to maintain a long generation of farmers.
Freezing seafood rapidly when it is at peak freshness to ensure a higher quality and longer lasting product
Our harvests are immediately frozen with ice flakes in layers in cool boxes. Boxes are equipped with paper records and coding for traceability. We ensure that our harvests are processed with the utmost care at <-18 degrees Celsius.
Sourcing plant based ingredients, like soy, from producers that do not destroy forests to increase their growing area and produce fish feed ingredients
With adjacent locations to mangroves and coastal areas, our farmers and company are committed to no deforestation at any scale. Mangrove rehabilitation and replantation are conducted every year in collaboration with local authorities. Our farms are not established in protected habitats and have not resulted from deforestation activity since the beginning of our establishment.
Implement only natural feeds grown in water for aquatic animal’s feed without use of commercial feed
Our black tiger shrimps are not fed using commercial feed. The system is zero input and depends fully on natural feed grown in the pond. Our farmers use organic fertilizer and probiotics to enhance the water quality.
Enhance biodiversity through integration of nature conservation and food production without negative impact to surrounding ecosysytem
As our practices are natural, organic, and zero input, farms coexist with surrounding biodiversity which increases the volume of polyculture and mangrove coverage area. Farmers’ groups, along with the company, conduct regular benthic assessments, river cleaning, and mangrove planting.
THE TERM “MOONSHOT” IS OFTEN USED TO DESCRIBE an initiative that goes beyond the confines of the present by transforming our greatest aspirations into reality, but the story of a moonshot isn’t that of a single rocket. In fact, the Apollo program that put Neil Armstrong on the moon was actually preceded by the Gemini program, which in a two-year span rapidly put ten rockets into space. This “accelerated” process — with a new mission nearly every 2-3 months — allowed NASA to rapidly iterate, validate their findings and learn from their mistakes. Telemetry. Propulsion. Re-entry. Each mission helped NASA build and test a new piece of the puzzle.
The program also had its fair share of creative challenges, especially at the outset, as the urgency of the task at hand required that the roadmap for getting to the moon be written in parallel with the rapid pace of Gemini missions. Through it all, the NASA teams never lost sight of their ultimate goal, and the teams finally aligned on their shared responsibilities. Within three years of Gemini’s conclusion, a man did walk on the moon.
FACT is a food systems solutions activator that assesses the current food landscape, engages with key influencers, identifies trends, surveys innovative work and creates greater visibility for ideas and practices with the potential to shift key food and agricultural paradigms.
Each activator focuses on a single moonshot; instead of producing white papers, policy briefs or peer-reviewed articles, these teams design and implement blueprints for action. At the end of each activator, their work is released to the public and open-sourced.
As with any rapid iteration process, many of our activators re-assess their initial plans and pivot to address new challenges along the way. Still, one thing has remained constant: their conviction that by working together and pooling their knowledge and resources, they can create a multiplier effect to more rapidly activate change.
Who can enter and how selections are made.
A Greener Blue is a global call to action that is open to individuals and teams from all over the world. Below is a non-exhaustive list of subjects the initiative targets.
To apply, prospective participants will need to fill out the form on the website, by filling out each part of it. Applications left incomplete or containing information that is not complete enough will receive a low score and have less chance of being admitted to the storytelling lab.
Nonprofit organizations, communities of fishers and fish farmers and companies that are seeking a closer partnership or special support can also apply by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org and interacting with the members of our team.
Special attention will be given to the section of the form regarding the stories that the applicants want to tell and the reasons for participating. All proposals for stories regarding small-scale or artisanal fishers or aquaculturists, communities of artisanal fishers or aquaculturists, and workers in different steps of the seafood value chain will be considered.
Stories should show the important role that these figures play in building a more sustainable seafood system. To help with this narrative, the initiative has identified 10 principles that define a more sustainable seafood system. These can be viewed on the initiative’s website and they state:
Seafood is sustainable when:
Proposed stories should show one or more of these principles in practice.
Applications are open from the 28th of June to the 15th of August 2022. There will be 50 selected applicants who will be granted access to The Lexicon’s Total Storytelling Lab. These 50 applicants will be asked to accept and sign a learning agreement and acceptance of participation document with which they agree to respect The Lexicon’s code of conduct.
The first part of the lab will take place online between August the 22nd and August the 26th and focus on training participants on the foundation of storytelling, supporting them to create a production plan, and aligning all of them around a shared vision.
Based on their motivation, quality of the story, geography, and participation in the online Lab, a selected group of participants will be gifted a GoPro camera offered to the program by GoPro For A Change. Participants who are selected to receive the GoPro camera will need to sign an acceptance and usage agreement.
The second part of the Storytelling Lab will consist of a production period in which each participant will be supported in the production of their own story. This period goes from August 26th to October 13th. Each participant will have the opportunity to access special mentorship from an international network of storytellers and seafood experts who will help them build their story. The Lexicon also provides editors, animators, and graphic designers to support participants with more technical skills.
The final deadline to submit the stories is the 14th of October. Participants will be able to both submit complete edited stories, or footage accompanied by a storyboard to be assembled by The Lexicon’s team.
All applicants who will exhibit conduct and behavior that is contrary to The Lexicon’s code of conduct will be automatically disqualified. This includes applicants proposing stories that openly discriminate against a social or ethnic group, advocate for a political group, incite violence against any group, or incite to commit crimes of any kind.
All submissions must be the entrant’s original work. Submissions must not infringe upon the trademark, copyright, moral rights, intellectual rights, or rights of privacy of any entity or person.
Participants will retain the copyrights to their work while also granting access to The Lexicon and the other partners of the initiative to share their contributions as part of A Greener Blue Global Storytelling Initiative.
If a potential selected applicant cannot be reached by the team of the Initiative within three (3) working days, using the contact information provided at the time of entry, or if the communication is returned as undeliverable, that potential participant shall forfeit.
Selected applicants will be granted access to an advanced Storytelling Lab taught and facilitated by Douglas Gayeton, award-winning storyteller and information architect, co-founder of The Lexicon. In this course, participants will learn new techniques that will improve their storytelling skills and be able to better communicate their work with a global audience. This skill includes (but is not limited to) how to build a production plan for a documentary, how to find and interact with subjects, and how to shoot a short documentary.
The Lexicon provides video editors, graphic designers, and animators to support the participants to complete their stories.
The submitted stories will be showcased during international and local events, starting from the closing event of the International Year of Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022 in Rome, in January 2023. The authors of the stories will be credited and may be invited to join.
Storytelling lab participation:
Applicants that will be granted access to the storytelling Lab will be evaluated based on the entries they provided in the online form, and in particular:
Applications will be evaluated by a team of 4 judges from The Lexicon, GSSI and the team of IYAFA (Selection committee).
When selecting applications, the call promoters may request additional documentation or interviews both for the purpose of verifying compliance with eligibility requirements and to facilitate proposal evaluation.
Participants to the Storytelling Lab who will be given a GoPro camera will be selected based on:
The evaluation will be carried out by a team of 4 judges from The Lexicon, GSSI and the team of IYAFA (Selection committee).
Incidental expenses and all other costs and expenses which are not specifically listed in these Official Rules but which may be associated with the acceptance, receipt and use of the Storytelling Lab and the camera are solely the responsibility of the respective participants and are not covered by The Lexicon or any of the A Greener Blue partners.
All participants who receive a Camera are required to sign an agreement allowing GoPro for a Cause, The Lexicon and GSSI to utilize the films for A Greener Blue and their promotional purposes. All participants will be required to an agreement to upload their footage into the shared drive of The Lexicon and make the stories, films and images available for The Lexicon and the promoting partners of A Greener Blue.