Capital investment in fisher community infrastructure: improving livelihoods through job creation and access to services.

With four planned sites, North Atlantic Inc. (NAI) and PT Bali Seafood International (BSI) are building out a network of Fishery Community Centers in the Lesser Sunda Region. Our fishery management model is a community-first approach. Only by supporting the men and women closest to the fishery can we achieve meaningful gains in sustainability.

Each Fishery Community Center will address the broken cold chain, educate on responsible fishing practices and financial management, and be a platform for fishery management decisions.

Mini-processing plant, ice plant and cold storage
The processing plant, ice making and cold storage facilities are expected to generate a majority of the 150 new jobs at each Fishery Community Center. Ice plants answer the need for cold chain stability at the start of the supply chain. While it may seem a simple addition, ice and containers on-board will go a long way in reducing spoilage, which means fishers earn a better price for their catch.

Additionally, processing the fish shortly after landing them will make a world of difference in value-capture. The mini-processing plants on site will provide stable employment for community members and tie the source directly to the final product. All will be built under strict BRC standards and with positive working conditions in mind.

Gear shops
Access to proper gear is critical in cutting down by catch and sea garbage. The Fishery Community Centers will include a gear shop to provide first-rate fishing gear at or near the price of second-hand industrial gear many fishers use today. Not only is the second-hand industrial gear hazardous to the marine environment, it also poses a danger to the fishers using it. It’s especially hazardous for handline fishers because their hands are exposed to the fraying lines.

These equipment depots will be split in ownership between BSI and the local fishery cooperative to ensure improvement of fishing gear in circulation. They will be fully managed and operated by the cooperative.

It is indeed a small detail in the grand scheme, but for the fishers, it will no doubt make a difference in their lives:

  • Physically, it will reduce nuisance injuries and ailments
  • Mentally, it will give them a greater sense of pride in their work and
  • Financially, it will help them be more productive.

Fisheries governance, education center, and technology center
Fisher community representation in management decisions is essential to our model. Most importantly, they need the tools to make informed decisions. That’s why we are engaging Indonesian governing bodies and NGOs to build the resources for the fishers to take part in governance.

Between the education center, technology center, and a space for administrative offices, the Fishery Community Center is meant to be the fishery’s home base. Questions and training around the Pelagic Data Systems traceability hardware will be addressed in the technology center. And the education center will house training on sustainable fishing practices and communicate fishery updates.

The Fishery Community Center model will create new and stable employment, increase incomes, and improve infrastructure. We believe this holistic approach is the most effective way to invest in the future of the Lesser Sunda region.