16 Oct Marine Protected Area (MPAs) for Sustainable Fisheries in the Banda Islands

CTC recently conducted a training to increase knowledge about the importance of marine protected areas (MPAs) to sustainable fishing practices in the Banda Islands, Maluku. Throughout the three-day session, participants engaged in comprehensive coverage of marine ecology and fisheries management in order to support the ongoing Banda Island Snapper Fisheries program in the islands.

There were 23 participants who joined the training on October 6–8, 2022, consisting of 17 local fishers and six staff from various governmental agencies. Prior to the training, fisher participants had taken part in the Captain/Crew Operated Data Reporting System (CODRS) activity, which required them to weigh their catch, take pictures of it, record the GPS coordinates, and list it on a receipt.

Through the MPA training for sustainable fisheries, participants develop the skills to describe the ecology and ecosystems of the target fish, as well as the role of MPAs to support sustainable fisheries. Additionally, through the fish identification (Fish ID) session, participants can better identify a number of deep-sea fish species in the Banda Islands. Finally, participants will be able to sharpen their skills in documenting and recording fish types.

The majority of participants expressed satisfaction with the training,saying that it was very useful, and the content was easy to understand. Gafur Sari, a fisherman from Banda, stated, “I feel that the trainers are highly skilled in delivering the training materials and they also employed various methods that I found less difficult to follow.”

After completing the training, participants will apply their new knowledge and skills in fishery data collection activities in order to measure fishing activities in Banda. Since May 2022, a major activity in the Banda Islands Snapper Fisheries program has been to collect information about fish stock, which will be useful to the community for structuring future resource use.

All data and information will be sent by participating fisheries to CTC. Trained CTC staff will process the data and upload them onto the I-Fish platform, managed by Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN). This will strengthen the fishery database, including the deep-water snapper fishery, in the Indonesian Fisheries Management Area (FMA) 714. The I-Fish data will be synchronized to a data collection platform managed by Balai Riset Perikanan Laut (the e-BRPL), an agency for marine and fisheries of the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries.

CTC, in collaboration with People and Nature Consulting International (PNCI) and YKAN, is carrying out the Banda Islands Snapper Fisheries program. This capacity-building program provides targeted support for snapper fishers and fishery stakeholders in the Banda Islands to develop and initiate a fishery monitoring program. The partnership aims to establish a sound and accurate baseline of the Banda deep-water snapper’s status which will improve and ensure the sustainability of local snapper fishing practices.

The deep Banda Sea in Maluku, eastern Indonesia, has a productive yellowfin tuna fishery but much less is known about the small-scale deep demersal fisheries for snappers (Lutjanidae) and groupers (Epinephelidae), which is essential to local coastal communities. Sustainable fishery management, supported by an accurate database and participation of stakeholders, is critical to protect the commodity from overfishing.

To date, fishers have collected data on 49 deep-water snapper and grouper species. Throughout the program at three-month junctures, fishers will have an opportunity to discuss submitted reports with project mentors, receiving guidance and feedback on strengths and areas where the process could be further improved. This approach reflects the CTC’s core mission to inspire and train generations to care for coastal and marine ecosystems, enabling local stewardship through strengthening active community participation and collaboration.

Photos: Dwi Surkan Darmawan

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