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sustainable fishing in indonesia
why indonesia?
woman selling fish at the market
2nd largest producer of wild-caught fish
woman holding fish at the market
54% of Indonesians' animal protein comes from fish and seafood
Largest tracks of mangroves and second-largest area of coral reefs in the world

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.

Restoring our Oceans: How TURF+Reserves Help Fishing Communities

the time is now

Our approach to addressing these threats is to establish fisheries management systems that give communities living in and around a fishery the right to access and use the fisheries' resources. With this approach, communities or districts have the legal right to access fisheries off their coasts as well as the right to manage the resource, which usually includes establishing a no-take fishery zone or additional access conditions, such as gear restrictions, inside the managed area.

power in partnerships

Rare has been working with communities in Indonesia for over 15 years, building a strong, diverse network of partners, including the Indonesian government, academic institutions and local and international NGOs. Solving problems through partnerships is at the root of Rare's approach, and in particular, Rare endeavors to support the Government of Indonesia as it emerges as an international leader in sustainable fisheries management.

  • Rare and its implementing partners from National Parks, local offices of the Ministry of Marine Affairs & Fisheries (MMAF), the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MOEF)  and other NGOs, have been implementing 37 fishery campaigns throughout Indonesia, Malaysia and Timor Leste since 2010.
  • Through collaboration with the Government of Indonesia, Rare seeks to enable the domestic fleet to employ legal, regulated and reported sustainable fishing efforts while increasing domestic capacity for generations to come.

what's working

  • Rare has facilitated the development of managed access fishing areas, covering nearly 36,000 hectares of marine waters.
  • Over 7,500 fishers from 26 villages, with a total population of 71,520 people, are involved or will be impacted by the work under way at these sites.  
  • In July 2016, the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries enacted a new legal guideline that gives communities living in and around Marine Protected Areas the opportunity to co-manage their fisheries alongside government partners. This national support by the Government of Indonesia is a promising step toward improving coastal fisheries through community empowerment. 
  • Promising biological results are emerging. For example, the biophysical monitoring results from Rare's Wakatobi National Park site showed the number of Red Snapper increased by 53% from 2012 to 2014.
  • The program has been facilitating the establishment of community working groups consisting of local fishers to help with training, management and roll-out of these no-take and managed access fishery zones.

how we will succeed

Rare’s goal in Indonesia is to demonstrate productive, sustainable and profitable fisheries in Indonesia by 2020

  • Implement no-take and managed access fishery zones at 15 current sites.
  • Establish community fishing cooperatives at each site, with clear roles and responsibilities within the community and the government.
  • Train at least 100 local government officials and leaders in the benefits of managed access fisheries management and Rare’s approach to implementation.
  • Establish a clear link for communities participating in this approach and an increase in social and economic wellbeing.
  • Continue working with the national and local governments to ensure that by the end of 2017, the managed access and no-take fishing zones at these sites will have functioning fishery management bodies as well as fishery management plans that outline operational goals and functions.
  • Replicate the successes of these initial 15 sites at additional sites across the country, focusing on improving the speed at which communities implement and enforce their no-take and managed access fishery zones, and reducing the costs of implementation.
  • Continue supporting national government initiatives to elevate the rights of local communities to sustainably manage their fisheries' resources.

The Ministry of Marine Affairs & Fisheries, the Ministry of Environment & Forestry and Rare commit to developing a breakthrough on marine conservation area management, together with the local fishers, to strengthen their sense of belonging and to preserve their ocean as their source of food and income.”

Agus Dermawan, Secretary of Directorate General of Marine Spatial Management,
Ministry of Marine Affairs & Fisheries, Republic of Indonesia

rare in the media

follow our journey

Seismic Shifts in Sustainable Fishing in Indonesia
July 29, 2016
In a historic moment for small-scale fishers in Indonesia, the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries enacted a guideline, which gives communities living in and around Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) the responsibility to co-manage their coastal resources alongside government partners. Read full story >

From the Coast to the Capital, Pride Goes National
May 23, 2016
As rights-based fisheries management finds its moment in Indonesia, the national government’s ministries teamed up with Rare to celebrate the start of a national Pride campaign for Fish Forever. Read full story >


Mascot dances in Wakatobi Pride celebration

A mascot dances in Wakatobi Pride celebration.

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Taman Kencana - Bogor - 16151
West Java - Indonesia
Tel: +62 (0) 251 8325418
Fax: +62 (0) 251 8325266

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