Advancing traceability and financial inclusion for small-scale fishers in Indonesia
Project Lead: Sahabat Laut Lestari (SLL Fisheries)
Supporting Partners: Yayasan Masyarakat dan Perikanan Indonesia (MDPI Foundation)
Support: Received mentoring and training from the Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge (ORIC) which is financially supported by the Swiss Re Foundation, the UK’s Blue Planet Fund, and the United States Department of State.
SLL Fisheries is developing a mobile phone application so small-scale fishers in Indonesia can log fishing data, with the goal to improve fisher operations and increase fisheries traceability. The Perahu App places artisanal fishers at the centre of the solution by integrating systemic catch information (fishing grounds, fishing gear, landing data) with economic records (fisher to buyer transactions). This input provides value to different stakeholders while artisanal fishers gain information regarding operations and market value as well as a financial track record.
Perahu App can be used by small-scale fishers and local suppliers to comply with government and global market requirements surrounding legality and traceability to combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing products entering the supply chain.
Small-scale fishers in Indonesia face a number of barriers to implementing sustainable fishing practices. Local regulators increasingly require digital catch information, and global customers also demand for electronic catch documentation and traceability (eCDT). Such requirements become difficult to comply with for those who are not digitally connected. Moreover, small-scale fishers have also traditionally struggled to be granted loans due to a lack of information about their catch and turnover track record.
Perahu App is a mobile application allowing small-scale fishers and local suppliers to log their daily fish catches and transactions. If the catch complies with the global market’s requirements for traceability, fishers gain a secured value for their catch. By tracking business operations, the app provides a financial record that fishers can use to apply for bank loans and government grants. Moreover, the daily catch recorded will be shared for fish stock assessments – which is important for effective fisheries management.
Scalability and Next Steps
SLL Fisheries, together with the MDPI Foundation team, currently works with 500 fishers in two different communities, focusing primarily on tuna, octopus and shrimp fishers. A strong focus of the project is developing a community engagement component helping fishers to build financial literacy, and teaching them how to record their fishing logs and financial transactions.
“The project itself (Perahu App) is not only about the technology, but also the activity revolved around the technology. We are starting to develop financial literacy tools and digital training for fishers and for their wives.
This is to encourage fishers and build their awareness about the market, and the importance of going digital. It’s really important to build this ecosystem.” – Eko Octavianus, Director of SLL Fisheries
“We want to make it so our technology is applicable to the fishers and goes with what they use. With all the barriers of infrastructure, such as internet access, and finding mobile data, we need to have an offline mode for example to make sure it can be used there.” – Eko Octavianus, Director of SLL Fisheries