Supporting supply chain traceability in small-scale tuna fisheries

Published: 01 April 2019
Last edited: 01 April 2019
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Within this project, multiple supply chains engaged in the Handline and Pole and Line fishery in Indonesia were categorized into a set of generic supply chain types. This allowed us to audit a wide set of supply chain types and create a generic improvement approach for each type. We shared improvement approaches with an entire group of industries engaged in the industry association AP2HI, at present over 20 companies and allow them to independently work towards the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Chain of Custody (CoC) Standard as well as increasing international traceability requirements.


Southeast Asia
Scale of implementation
Marine and coastal ecosystems
Open sea
Fisheries and aquaculture
Standards/ certification
Sustainable development goals
SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production
SDG 14 – Life below water
Aichi targets
Target 4: Sustainable production and consumption
Target 6: Sustainable management of aquatic living resources




The main challenge this project addressed was CoC compliance within disaggregated supply chains of small-scale fisheries. These fisheries are often located in remote areas, with challenging transport connections, middlemen potentially affecting product flow depending on season and price and with low volumes coming from individual landings causing product to be aggregated for efficiency.


Having CoC can address challenges in processing inefficiencies, support improved quality measures, adherence to national and international regulation and at its core aims to eradicate Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) products entering international supply chains. The fraud associated with IUU fishing generates the possibility of social and economic undercutting of responsible operators.


Having CoC and traceability gives credibility to compliant industry stakeholders. Addressing these challenges will benefit the industry in processing efficiency, product quality and reputation.


The beneficiaries include 18 Indonesian handline and pole and line tuna companies and their supply chains which include approximately 3,000 fishermen across eastern Indonesia. 

How do the building blocks interact?

The coordination allowed various themes related to the broader topic of traceability to work together. The coordination also allowed the initial approach of the project, namely the support for Chain of Custody achievement in Indonesian supply chains, to be enriched by including aspects on international regulations, internationally recognized Key Data Elements (KDEs) for traceability and regional initiatives and technology being utilized to support traceability as a whole.



This project generated a collaborative approach amongst the following organizations: MDPI, AP2HI, IPNLF, SMART-Fish Indonesia, USAID Oceans and Marine Change. MDPI were able to leverage this work to partner with USAID Oceans on their Catch Documentation and Traceability project. The work enabled AP2HI to forge stronger relationships with its member companies, as AP2HI were seen as facilitating activities that benefit member companies aiming towards MSC certification. This project generated a stronger relationship between MDPI, AP2HI and CoC Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs).


This project ensured strong capacity building in the above mentioned organizations on the topics of traceability and MSC Chain of Custody. We all have a better understanding of the requirements of the Standard and are better placed to support industry and supply chains meet the requirements. Industry is more aware of simple solutions they can implement to be CoC compliant and to conduct traceability to meet international standards, at relatively low cost.


Through the collaboration, the conversation also focused on identifying what the internationally recognized Key Data Elements (KDEs) are and incorporating these into our everyday terminology and work practices. Industry are now informed and prepared to proceed to CoC certification.



During the project, two of the companies were using an electronic traceability system in their processing plants and one supplier was using an application for recording information from fishermen. Both of these technologies were newly developed and implemented around the time of the project assessment and were still undergoing refinement based on user feedback.


As a result of the needs identified during this project and the advantages of using technology to meet these needs, both technologies were refined and improved under the USAID Oceans – MDPI partnership. The processor-based system is now called TraceTales, which was fully developed and sourced using Indonesian capacity and equipment. The supplier application is called Trafiz, which was also developed in Indonesia.


TraceTales is now installed in two companies, covering four processing facilities across North Sulawesi, North Maluku and Maluku. The Trafiz application is also being used by a number of suppliers across these locations, with the aim of promoting female suppliers to use the app. There are at least another three companies where the TraceTales system will be deployed within the coming year, enabling more companies to more easily meet the MSC Chain of Custody requirements.

Contributed by

Deirdre Duggan Masyarakat dan Perikanan Indonesia (MDPI)