A Discussion from Department of Fisheries Resources Utilization IPB University: Tuna Industry Admist COVID-19 Pandemic

Department of Fisheries Resources Utilization (PSP), Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Science (FPIK) IPB University held another Webinar 2nd Voice for Fisheries: Tuna Industry admist COVID-19 Pandemic on (16/5). The online discussion was attended by Trian Yunanda, Spi, MSc, Director of Fisheries Resources Management, Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Abrizal Ang MBA, Vice President of Operation PT Samudra Mandiri Sentosa as main speakers, and Dr Ir Sugeng Hari Wisudo, Msi, who is lecturer of IPB University and also Head of Fisheries Resources Utilization Department (PSP) as a discussant.

The condition of pandemic affects the supply and access to fishery. According to Trian, There are almost no problems with the production, but price is the thing which should be concerned. “The result from our analysis show that there will be price reduction in short-term period, and hindrance to the fishermans’ cash flow in mid-term period. Moreover, it will also affect the production process in long-term period. The fishermans does not have operating cost anymore and unwilling to work,” he explained.

According to him, the supply and consumer demand of tuna remains the same. Marketing and trading system become the main concern in the industry. The problems of tuna bussiness are the 30% increase in shipping cost, less order for frozen tuna so that the cold storages are full, over supply of canned albacore, the export of tuna decrease up to 70% in April. Even since the end of March, some of the fish processing units in Benoa have had to lay off their employees. 

Many policies have been published, like the relaxation of capture fisheries policy, license processing through SILAT application, Access for ease in logistic shipping through letter from Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries to Head of Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB), and a proposal for governors and mayors in Indonesia, from Minister of Marine Affairs to and Fisheries, to include fishery products in social protection programs. Through letter from Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries to PT Garuda Indonesia, Fishery products’ shipment is planned using airway. The Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries also encourage to spread Gemarikan program.

Besides that, through circular letter No. 005 from Director of LPMKUP, restructurisation of revolving fund loans from Public Service Agency (BLU), Economic stimulus proposal for speeding-up the recovery from COVID-19 impact, fish marketing digitalization, were held. Whereas for fisherman, there are many programs for them like “Nasi Ikan” and “Bakti Nelayan” Programs, capital proposal facility, land certification rights facility for fisherman, fisherman villages arrangement, diversification of bussiness for fisherman, and also empowerment and assisting program for institutional joint venture (KUB).

From industrial aspect, Abrizzal explained that COVID-19 pandemic affects to companies’ sales. PT Samudra Mandiri Sentosa is a company which focus on tuna canning and fresh tuna bussiness. Its products have been exported to Europe and America. 

“The export in first quarter before pandemic was quite high. But globally, it becomes complicated because of this pandemic. The sale was declined up to 70 percents. Usual export quantity can reach 75 containers, but it is less than seven containers admist this pandemic. The packaged products are forced to be stored back. Even some of the shipped products were returned. The main problem is about the cash flow, while we buy the products from fishermans by cash,” he said.

In his opinion, food service is the most affected sector by lockdown policy or social distancing in some countries. But for retail sector, the sales still increase although it is not same compared to before-pandemic condition.

“The interesting thing is the improvement of our digital marketing. This is our chance to improve our product for costumer. I hope that we are no longer depend on foreign products, may be we can export our own brand. While we cannot do production, we should focus on distributing the products. Products are redirected for social donation purpose with no profit taken. It is just to keep our employees work. We are trying not to reduce our employees. Besides that, the first solution in Indonesia is the distribution for public kitchen. We  can survive maybe for 4-5 months from now without reducing our employees,” he said.

He recommends that the government should accommodate the products which are failed to be exported. He also expect a policy about Value Added Tax (VAT) stimulus for fishery products.

As a discussant, Dr Sugeng Hari Wisudo added, A good connectivity between companies and government in many sectors is needed to allocate the tuna products, from on-going producers in the pandemic period, for domestic customers because access to export is still closed in the pandemic period. 

At the closing session, Dr Roza Yusfiandayani as moderator explained that many policies had been published by the government to support fishery industries. “We must remain optimistic, because Indonesia has a big market. This is the momentum for the stakeholders in fishery sector to make a synergy form the upstream and downstream sectors. Tuna industry must keep sustain,” he said. (IAAS/ISL)


Published Date : 18-May-2020

Resource Person : Dr Sugeng Hari Wisudo

Keyword : Lecturer of IPB University, tuna bussiness in pandemic period, tuna export, IPB University, Department of Fisheries Resources Utilization