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Indonesia calls on Asean to lower barriers to US exports

Following the introduction of the US Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Indonesian government urged Asean nations to address potential export barriers (US MMPA).

In a press release on Sunday, Antam Novambar, secretary-general of the Marine Affairs and Fisheries Ministry said that one of the initiatives being pushed was to concentrate on enhancing small-scale fisheries in Asean.

According to him, “this is significant since it relates to the success of Asean member countries’ exports of fisheries products to the world market, particularly America.”

Because it has to do with product standardization, the issue of small-scale fishermen and farmers, whose population dominates the fishing sector, could have an impact on export performance.

To this aim, the Indonesian delegation encouraged the US mission to the Asean Sectoral Working Group on Fisheries (ASWGFi) meeting to increase both capacity and technical support so that Asean countries can reach those criteria.

According to Novambar, this became a collective concern because it may eventually result in a new non-tariff barrier that will harm the export of fish and fishery products from Asean member countries to the US market.

Indonesia has introduced two approaches in the capture fisheries and aquaculture sectors to strengthen the capacity of small-scale fishermen and farmers.

The idea behind the captured fisheries sector is to reduce poverty and increase food security by following Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) regulations.

As a result of promoting sustainable fish farming practices, the notion of aquaculture emerged as a communal understanding of sustainable cultivation.

The two initiative concepts have been approved, and Asean nations and partners including the FAO and Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center will draft their documentation (SEAFDEC), stated Novambar.

In order to address this, he stated, “the ministry invited Asean countries to jointly participate in drafting this regional plan to pay attention to small-scale fisheries that dominate Asean’s fishery during the 30th ASWGFi meeting held recently.

The ASWGFi meeting is the sole recognized forum in Asean that addresses issues relating to fisheries, such as catch capacity, catch region, elimination of IUU Fishing, conservation and habitat, and effects of climate change.

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