U.S. firm boosts sustainable fishing in Indonesia

People standing by boats near shoreline (Courtesy of MDPI)
Fair Trade small scale tuna fishermen on N. Buru Island. (Courtesy of MDPI)

Small-scale fisheries in Indonesia earn fair compensation and invest in their communities, thanks to a U.S. firm’s efforts to recognize and reward sustainable fishing practices.

Anova Technical Services (ATS), part of San Diego-based Anova Food, uses digital blockchain technology to track seafood through every step of the supply chain, from how and where fish were caught and processed to safety inspections and delivery.

Transparent supply chains help consumers know they are purchasing high-quality, sustainably caught fish. And that helps fishing communities command a fair price for their catch.

“It makes me feel proud about myself,” said Robert Tjoanda, owner of a fish processing plant in Ambon, Indonesia, that supplies Anova. “You can prove that your fish come from the right source.”

People standing around a table looking at a map spread on top of table (Courtesy of Anovo)
Fishers attend training provided by Anova and MDPI.

Bali-based ATS won the U.S. Secretary of State’s 2022 Award for Corporate Excellence in the responsible business operations category. The award recognizes U.S. companies that promote high standards through their operations around the world.

ATS Managing Director Blane Olson says Anova’s long-standing investments in transparent supply chains and partnerships seek to ensure a living wage for fishers and processors, and promote gender equality and other socially responsible practices.

In 2013, Anova formed the Masyarakat dan Perikanan Indonesia (MDPI) foundation to support Indonesia’s fisheries and small fishing communities.

Man and woman standing behind children as they fill recyclable bottles with water (Courtesy of Anovo)
Anova works to provide clean water systems to schools in Indonesia to promote children’s health and reduce plastic pollution. (Courtesy of Anova)

Anova worked with the nonprofit Fair Trade USA to help develop a seafood sector fair-trade certification program to inform consumers and incentivize sustainable fishing and ethical trade.

Eastern Indonesia fisheries earning the fair trade certification have received more than $1.5 million in market premiums, which they invest in education, safety gear, school and community center refurbishments, clean water infrastructure and emergency savings.

“Inclusion, innovation, and collaboration are the basis for Anova’s dedicated work with [thousands] of small scale” fishing communities in Indonesia, Olson said. We increase supply chain and fish value through processing innovation, quality training, traceability and digital technology.”

The 2022 Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence also was awarded to a multinational enterprise for responsible business operations, and to companies for climate resilience and inclusive economic growth.