On 13-14th December, the Fishing and Living team facilitated the forming of a fishermen’s group in our Fairtrade pilot site in West Ambon, Maluku. The group was formed by 23 fishermen originating from three neighboring villages. All of the fishermen involved work under the same supplier, hence this is the main requirement for entry to the group, to be a supplying fisherman to Pak Nyong Chan, the largest local supplier of Yellowfin tuna in the above mentioned site.
On 13th December 2013, the participants of the initial gathering succeeded in establishing the structure of the proposed group. A group leader/ head, a secretary, a treasure and also a coordinator for each of the three different villages were elected. On day 2, the 14th December 2013, the internal rules and statues of the group were discussed. Thus, at the end of day 2, it was not only a fishermen group formed, but the structure and the statues were also established and agreed.
The fisher groups or associations are intended to form the basis of the implementation of the Fairtrade USA capture fisheries standard, by allowing these groups to make collaborative and informed decisions about their fishery and by ensuring that these groups, through a transparent system may make decisions on how this project can benefit and develop their communities through using an investment generated by a Fairtrade premium.
The West Ambon fishermen hope that the group that they have just developed will work towards benefitting each other by developing themselves and hence it will work towards sustaining their livelihood. In the spirit of the event they have named their group “Tuna Lestari” or “the Sustainable Tuna” mirroring their hope of harvesting sustainable tuna for a long time into the future.