01 Apr CTC Kick-Off New Project to Support Sustainable Fisheries in the Banda Islands

CTC is currently implementing a capacity-building project for local snapper fishers and other fishery stakeholders in Banda Islands, Maluku, to develop and initiate a fishery monitoring program. The Banda Islands Snapper Fisheries Pilot Project will help establish a baseline of the deep-water snapper’s status to improve fishing practices and sustainability.

The project’s kick-off meeting took place on April 1, 2022, at CTC’s Center for Marine Conservation in Sanur.  CTC staff, representatives from the Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN) Bali and some consultants attended the meeting. During the meeting, CTC also signed an agreement with YKAN for providing in-kind training support and supplies to CTC to provide Fish-ID training to local fishermen in Banda within a two-year period, ending in 2024.

The pilot project, funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, is an important opportunity for CTC to demonstrate that involving stakeholders in the monitoring and management process can build structure within the community of resource users and create additional valuable roles for fishers. 

Initial studies show that working directly with local fishers to monitor their fisheries can provide more accurate and detailed information compared to what was previously available, which enhances the quality of stock assessments and actionable management advice. Further, the implementation of the territorial use rights for fishing (TURFs), combined with no-take reserves, are potentially the only feasible ways to effectively manage small-scale demersal fisheries at remote sites in Indonesia.

By linking the coastal communities directly to private sectors and other stakeholders, the project will enable sharing of data and knowledge, which could be impactful for decision-making. This project would hopefully be one of the first to demonstrate how this approach can be beneficial for local governments, private sectors and local communities as resource owners.

“The real value of the pilot project will be the ability of CTC to demonstrate together with community partners how all the theory would be applied for collaborative management of a coastal fishery. This is significant, considering that especially in remote parts of Indonesia local stewardship is the main factor determining the success of fisheries regulations,” said CTC Executive Director Rili Djohani.

Banda Islands was selected as the project site owing to its high potential for deep-water snapper fisheries in the surrounding waters, which is part of the Indonesian Fisheries Management Area 714 (FMA-714). In addition, as the main resource users in this deep demersal fishery, most local small-scale fishers in Banda have already shown strong ownership over their local resources and expressed interest in accessing sustainable supply lines to increase high returns from their efforts.

A group of 25 fishers in Banda Islands, with their vessels, will later be selected and engaged to record their catches and actual fishing area. The project will provide cameras and measuring boards for photographing all fish in the catch, and place SPOT Trace units on the boats to record fishing positions. All data and information will be sent to CTC at Ambon and Bali offices. Trained CTC staff will upload compiled data and information onto the I-Fish platform, which is managed by the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF).  This will be part of the commitment in improving fishing practices and strengthening the fishery databases, including the deep-water snapper fishery in the Indonesian FMA-714.

As a follow-up to the project kick-off, CTC recently sent eight staff to join the first fish identification training held by YKAN in Bali. More advanced training including key stakeholders such as government officials, academes, private sectors and local fishers will be delivered in June 2022 in Ambon. By the end of the project, CTC is expected to become a competent provider of fisheries-management related capacity building.

Photo credit: Marthen Welly/CTC & Yoga Putra/CTC

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