Indonesia’s coastal fisheries are an essential source of food, income and cultural heritage to its people. Sixty percent of Indonesian fishers, or 1.6 million, are small-scale fishers, and 85% of their catch is used for human consumption. Additionally, Indonesia has the second longest coastline in the world, and 40% of the population (roughly 100 million people) lives near the coast. Coastal fisheries therefore play an essential role in national food security and nutritional health in Indonesia.
Unfortunately, these immense coastal resources are severely threatened by unsustainable fishing practices, degradation of critical marine habitats and non-fishing stressors such as climate change. As a result, more than 20% of Indonesia’s fish stocks are currently overexploited or collapsed.
But there is good news. With the combination of the 2014 national election and the establishment and enhancement of new and existing fisheries-related laws, Indonesia is emerging as an international leader on sustainable fisheries affording a unique opportunity to build on this momentum and strengthen coastal fishery management to ensure that Indonesians can fish not only today, but fish forever.