29 Jul Empowering Local Communities to Adopt Sustainable Fishing and Production Techniques

The CTC team has been engaging local communities in the Arafura Sea to support them adopting sustainable fishery practices and improve their livelihood as part of the “Building a Sustainable Seafood Industry to Support Coastal Communities in the Arafura Sea” (SeaNet) Project. 

In early July, we introduced an innovative fish-drying facility (para-para) to improve and support fish processing in Ngan and Sathean village. The facility is funded through a co-financed mechanism with local community during the construction period.

Prior to the introduction of the facility, the community in Ngan and Sathean dried their fish on the road, on asbestos or metal sheet roof and in their backyard where contamination from livestock and other hazard materials will affect the quality and product hygiene. With the new facility, the community can improve the product quality and expedite the drying process, as they do not need to unpack during the nighttime or rainy days as it is protected with UV sheet cover.

Soon after the construction was completed, we conducted several trainings to produce good quality smoked, shredded and salted fish products to the community. As many as 61 women; from the local community and women groups attended the trainings. The team is also engaging existing groups and setting up a crab fishing group as well as another one to manage a Net-Works project on waste net recycling  in Samkai and Kamahe Doga/Maro Villages with a total of 66 members.

During a three-day training at the end of May, a total of 54 women learned how to organize a proper production house in compliance with health requirements in order to avoid any substance contamination during the production process. Further the groups learned how to process Duri fish into several fish products such as smoked fish, steamed and fried fishballs to increase the economic value of Duri fish and improve the livelihood of local communities in Samkai and Kamahe Doga.

SeaNet Indonesia Project, which is being implemented by CTC and TierraMar and supported by AusAid, aims to introduce small-scale Indonesian fishermen in the Arafura Sea to sustainable fishing methods, reduce fish entanglement and bycatch of threatened species, and help fishing communities increase the value of their fisheries products through improved post-harvest handling. It will also focus on improving financial returns for women engaged in fish processing and sales.  The Arafura Sea is one of the most productive fisheries regions in Indonesia and supports key shrimp and demersal fish breeding and nursery grounds. The project is a pilot program for the Coral Triangle as a potential model for fisheries extension across the broader region.

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