By Rey Fachry and Robert Hurst
Indonesia’s most important natural resource is the ocean surrounding its 18,000 or so islands. As incomprehensibly huge as this fishery is, it only has so much to give.
Conservation of the ocean environment is both a moral and practical imperative. Fishing practices that deplete this resource faster than it can regenerate are unsustainable. If businesses are to continue benefiting from this resource, we all must work together — as producers, consumers and suppliers of capital — to support sustainable fishing and the people who practice it.
JALA Fish, a woman-run exporter of Indonesian yellowfin tuna and other products, is working with suppliers who are experts in a very old style of fishing that is proven, over thousands of years, to be sustainable. In this case, the traditional method — “one hook, one fish” — could be the only method that will sustain the fisheries and the businesses that rely on them. JALA, operating in Sulawesi, Indonesia, is committed to providing high-quality marine products that are acquired using the traditional fishing method from Talaud, North Sulawesi, where each fish is obtained with the fisherman’s own fishing rod.
In June, BIDUK Indonesia disbursed its second loan to JALA Fish, after the company successfully completed the first loan term with BIDUK Indonesia. JALA is applying for funding for raw materials and processing facility modifications that can support their daily operations amid this COVID-19 pandemic. During this hard time, JALA is adapting by finding other ways to increase their production and business opportunities.
During this pandemic, JALA continues to support the local fishermen of Talaud by buying their products directly and selling them on the international market. Funding from BIDUK will also support the export certification process for JALA in order for them to be able to export their products to new customers, connecting local fishermen from Talaud Island with broader international markets, even the US.
JALA CEO Aninda Scholten said that “BIDUK is always helpful and always gives a hands-on experience when facing a problem.”
BIDUK Business Development Manager Daniel Marantika was equally positive when discussing JALA, stating that “We are very happy to continue working with JALA to support their funding, especially during this hard time. BIDUK continues to provide effective and suitable funding solutions for our clients amid this COVID-19 pandemic.” Daniel added that the partnership between BIDUK and JALA is based on trust and always aims for the most suitable solutions for both parties.
BIDUK is very excited to see the business expansion of JALA and is looking forward to strengthening our relationship even more. Our partnership is about more than money. It will support sustainable fishing practices and ultimately help conserve Indonesia’s ocean environment.
Photos by Jokob van Vlieten