Impact of voluntary sustainability certifications on Indonesian small-scale tuna fishery

Project: PhD

Project Details


Small-scale tuna fisheries play a crucial role in fishers’ livelihood in Indonesia. Fair Trade USA (FT USA) has built a certification scheme for yellowfin tuna handline fishery in Maluku since 2014, in collaboration with Yayasan Masyarakat dan Perikanan Indonesia (MDPI). Although it mainly focuses on social issues, the initiative has environmental requirements to improve fishery practices to reach environmental sustainability consistent with MSC. Since 2020 fishers’ associations based on Maluku and North Maluku have been successfully certified by MSC. However, despite the MSC achievements, data showed that the number of FT fisher groups is decreasing, raising a question about the relationship between both certifications. The study aims to examine the impact of the voluntary sustainability certification schemes on the sustainability of small-scale fisheries in Indonesia, which is broadly disaggregated into four questions: 1) In what ways does FT USA support small-scale fishers to improve their capabilities to achieve a higher level of well-being, 2) To what extent does FT USA support small-scale fishers to improve their environmental performance and achieve MSC certification?, 3) To what extent has the imposition of MSC standards enabled value chain actors to upgrade their operations?, and 4) What are the roles of state and non-state actors in multi-level context on the sustainable improvement of small-scale tuna fisheries?. Theoretically, this study will draw on Sen’s capability approach and The Sustainable Livelihood Approach (SLF). Data collection will be conducted in Indonesia, and the study will perform a mixed-methods approach.
Effective start/end date1/12/20 → …


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