Indonesia nets sustainable fishing support

Indonesia nets sustainable fishing support

Paul McShane Fisheries Management

Indonesia has embarked on an ambitious capacity building program in conjunction with the Monash Sustainability Institute (MSI) to develop its aquatic resources and build more sustainable fishing practices.

A three-day workshop for 25 senior fisheries managers from various parts of Indonesia was recently held in Denpasar, Bali to share knowledge and promote sustainable fishing practices within the region.

Fisheries contribute about 5 per cent to Indonesia’s GDP but an estimated $4 billion is lost annually to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Enforcement of sustainable fisheries practices is difficult for an archipelagic nation with more than 16,000 islands and more than 70,000 km of coastline as most fishing (95 per cent) is undertaken by small family groups for subsistence.

“Approaches to sustainable fisheries in Indonesia are necessarily interdisciplinary” said Project Leader, MSI’s Dr Paul McShane.

“Most fisheries are data poor and social and cultural factors influence behaviour. Community-based management including the empowerment of women in encouraging sustainable fishing practices will be fruitful.

“Harnessing traditional wisdom to evidence-based approaches to fisheries management is more likely to work in a country such as Indonesia than mainstream science-based fisheries management.”

Indonesia has potentially valuable fisheries and substantial opportunities for further development including aquaculture, and the translation of microenterprises into small to medium enterprises is a vital pathway to Indonesia’s continuing sustainable economic development.

Indonesia’s President and the current Minister for Marine Affairs and Fisheries are both committed to sustainable development of Indonesia’s aquatic resources through tackling IUU, improving supply chains to meet growing demand for high quality seafood, and to develop capacity across the archipelago for sustainable fisheries management.

Following the Bali workshop, the 25 Indonesian managers will come to Monash where they will spend two weeks working on various aspects of sustainable fisheries management. This will include field visits and interactive sessions. It is expected that this will lead to a coordinated ongoing capacity building program including collaboration with Indonesia’s knowledge sector.

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