FiTI initiates transparency assessment of Indonesian marine fisheries management

FiTI initiates transparency assessment of Indonesian marine fisheries management

A text box and the Indonesia flag cropped to a circle, all resting on a background of blue connected dots. The text title reads "TAKING STOCK:Online Transparency of Fisheries Management Information. Assessing the level of information that Indonesia's national authorities publish on government websites regarding the country's marine fisheries sector.

The Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI), in partnership with the Indonesia Ocean Justice Initiative (IOJI), has begun its national transparency assessment of marine fisheries management in Indonesia to enhance local and global understanding on the levels of public access to fisheries information.

The ‘TAKING STOCK – Online Transparency of Fisheries Management Information’ assessment will review 39 different transparency elements related to fisheries management information published by Indonesian national authorities. These elements, derived from the FiTI Standard, include national laws, fisheries management plans, vessel registries, payment and trade data, and other relevant fisheries information. The goal is to determine if this critical information is publicly accessible, current, easily located and reusable.

Mas Achmad Santosa, CEO of the Indonesia Ocean Justice Initiative, underscored the vital role of transparency in sustainable fish resource management, stating, “Transparent public information is the constitutional right of every Indonesian citizen and is a prerequisite for carrying out meaningful public participation. It is the duty of the state to ensure transparency and public access to public information. This provides a powerful motivation for us to promote fisheries transparency in Indonesia. With these constitutional rights, Indonesia has the potential to become a champion in encouraging fisheries transparency and it is essential to carry out a TAKING STOCK assessment to understand the current status and conditions, identify areas for improvement, and most importantly, to fulfill the right to transparency.”

Sven Biermann, FiTI’s Executive Director, emphasised the comprehensive nature of the assessment, stating “Effective fisheries management must involve multiple stakeholders beyond just governmental bodies. By evaluating the information shared online to a wider audience, we aim to support Indonesia’s national authorities in strengthening transparency of fisheries management. The starting point is that all stakeholders have a general understanding of what information is already in the public domain and what is missing. We are excited to conducting this assessment on Indonesia, the host country of FiTI’s 2nd International Conference (2017), together with our partners from the Indonesia Ocean Justice Initiative (IOJI)”

The TAKING STOCK assessment will evaluate whether basic information on Indonesia’s marine fisheries sector is freely available on government’s platforms and publications, whether it is up to date and whether it is easy to find. It will also clearly show where available information is not yet published and propose practical recommendations to improve online transparency around the country’s marine fisheries sector.

The findings from the TAKING STOCK assessment for Indonesia will be published in a comprehensive assessment report later this year. By promoting open access to relevant data, FiTI and IOJI support informed discussions on national fisheries management, which can ultimately lead to the creation of more sustainable policies. This assessment is an opportunity for stakeholders to better engage in these discussions and serves as an important step towards understanding and improving transparency in Indonesia’s fisheries management.

This report will also contribute to FiTI’s global efforts to deepen public understanding of how different governments around the world approach transparency in marine fisheries management.

The TAKING STOCK assessment for Indonesia is funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.