1. Business Plan Shaping Up for Flying Fish Fishery in FakFak, West Papua
The development of a business plan for the flying fish fishery in Fakfak, West Papua is well underway. On 18 August, in an online consultation with representatives from the West Papua Marine and Fisheries Office (DKP), FakFak DKP, University of Papua, and Fishing Port Authority, USAID SEA presented a strategy to promote local participation in the fishery, increase revenue to the local government, and build a business cluster throughout the fishery’s supply chain.
This strategy follows on from the flying fish fishery management plan that USAID SEA has developed to address threats to the sustainability of the fish stock and mitigate issues arising from the fact that most of the fishery’s economic and employment benefits are captured by outsiders from South Sulawesi. Since July, the Project has hosted several technical consultations to flesh out management measures to control fishing effort, and to set targets and indicators.
Last August’s consultation focused on building a business plan to develop a sustainable flying fish fishery industry with local involvement across all points of the supply chain, from fishing and landing to processing and marketing. To create local employment in the fishing node of the chain, USAID SEA suggested an apprentice program for fishers through a partnership with traders, which will entail developing a memorandum of agreement with the local government, identifying potential local fishers, building capacity, and supporting soft loans for fishers.
To increase local benefits from processing, it was recommended to adopt a strategy used in South Sulawesi that engages local women in post-harvest activities like roe cleaning and grading. This can be implemented through collaboration with processors, and will require the development of a local processing unit and mentorship by food processing experts to provide quality control and assurance.
Other solutions put forward include revitalizing government-owned assets at the Fakfak Fishing Port to provide services and basic amenities like mooring, drying, cold storage, clean water, and electricity, and enabling direct export from West Papua by forging a partnership with exporters that have built a solid reputation and global reach. These solutions call for considerable government and private sector investments and can be time-consuming, but they will help ensure that local communities will benefit from, and thus will be motivated to manage, the fishery.
Participants agreed that making the business plan a reality will take good governance and the cooperation of all stakeholders. A public consultation is in the works to generate early buy-in and gather feedback on how to most effectively achieve the plan and secure its future financing.
2. 250 Small-Scale Fishers Granted Vessel Registration with USAID SEA Help
Around 250 small-scale fishers in Maluku Province have been issued their certificates of vessel registration (Pas Kecil) and fishing area permits (BPKPs). This came about in large part through the efforts of USAID SEA to assist the Maluku Provincial Government to accelerate its small-scale vessel registration. Since October 2018, the Marine and Fisheries Office (DKP) of Maluku Province has authorized its branches to issue BPKPs to small fishers and for that purpose coordinate with other relevant agencies, including the transportation department at the provincial and district levels, fisheries extension officers, and related regional government bodies.
USAID SEA facilitated the registration activities, with the DKPs taking the lead in implementation from 2019 onwards. This year on 30 July, 116 Pas Kecil and BPKPs were distributed to fishers in 7 villages on Maluku’s Saparua Island in a pandemic-adapted handover format made possible by Nus Siahay, a SEA Champion from the Saparua village of Nolloth.
SEA Champions are local volunteers who help USAID SEA create demand for changing behavior to improve marine resource protection and sustainable fisheries management in their communities. Nus not only volunteered to distribute the documents to the qualified fishers according to prescribed DKP procedures but also promoted the value of vessel registration to other fishers, thereby motivating them to participate in the activity.
USAID SEA continues to help DKP-Maluku by encouraging key provincial and district institutions, including the Planning Board, the Office of Village Empowerment, and fisheries offices, to include vessel registration in their annual budgets. As a result, activities related to vessel registration have been embedded in the DKP-Maluku 2019-24 Strategic Plan. Also, and perhaps more significantly, such mode of institutionalization is now being used as a reference in developing programs and activities for the Annual Regional Government Work Plan.
3. USAID SEA Hold First-of-its-Kind WhatsApp Training in Marine Mammal Stranding Response
USAID SEA continues to innovate the use of internet technology in order to push forward with its field programs despite COVID19. On 25-26 August, USAID SEA and its implementing partner Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), together with the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) Directorate for Marine Conservation and Biodiversity Office, organized a WhatsApp training in marine mammal stranding response for 43 North Maluku participants (6 female and 37 male) made up of SEA Champions (volunteers assisting the USAID SEA advocacy) and members of Pokmaswas (community-based surveillance groups).
Delivered using pictures, graphics, voice notes, and a short video, and enlivened by a sharing session and cheering quizzes, the training provided participants with the knowledge and know-how to identify marine mammals and respond to strandings. It was the second such online training conducted by USAID SEA during this pandemic, and the first using WhatsApp. Last July, USAID SEA and WCS worked with the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and MMAF to deliver a similar training via Zoom and YouTube to 94 participants from various government agencies, universities, and related institutions.
That July training included a discussion on the need to enable quick action on stranding incidents in North Maluku, and put forward a proposal to establish a marine mammal stranding first responder network, with a defined organizational structure. This proposal was brought to fruition at last August’s WhatsApp training, which ended with the formation of the North Maluku First Responder Network for Stranded Marine Mammals, a first for the province.
4. Two Pokmaswas in Maluku and North Maluku Get a Boost with Surveillance Tools from Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries
Two community-based fisheries surveillance groups – Pokmaswas Hena Berkarya based on Buano Island in Maluku Province, and Pokmaswas Tanjung Deko on Sula Island, North Maluku – were recent recipients of equipment assistance from the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF). Pokmaswas Hena Berkarya received two radio communication sets from MMAF Minister Edhy Prabowo himself during the Minister’s recent visit to Maluku Province.
The assistance for Pokmaswas Tanjung Deko, on the other hand, consisted of one 15HP longboat, a printer, a laptop computer, and an underwater camera, all handed over to the group by the MMAF regional office in Sorong, West Papua. The two groups are being assisted by USAID SEA partner Coral Triangle Center and have received extensive training in marine conservation and community-based surveillance.
Both are headed by SEA Champions, local volunteers trained and enlisted by USAID SEA to help create demand for marine conservation and sustainable fisheries management in their communities. In a press release, the government recognized the important role these SEA Champions and their peers play in ensuring that the marine waters around the Maluku Islands are protected in a sustainable manner from outside theft and other threats.
5. Extension Officers Turn to USAID SEA Flipchart to Teach Sustainable
A flipchart produced by USAID SEA is finding good use among Indonesia’s fisheries extension officers. The flipchart was developed as part of USAID SEA’s mission to assist, in proactive and innovative ways, the Indonesian Government’s outreach and extension program promoting sustainable marine resource use.
Designed primarily for local communities, extension officers, NGO field staff, and SEA Champions (local volunteers trained to deliver sustainable fisheries advocacy for USAID SEA), this outreach tool was first introduced to government agencies, partners and SEA Champions through a series of online meetings in May and June 2020, and subsequently distributed to extension officers in USAID SEA sites in Maluku, North Maluku, and West Papua.
Reports from the field now show extensive use of the flipchart, especially as a visual and presentation aid in meetings with fishers. Extension officers in North Maluku’s Sula and South Halmahera districts (who are also SEA Champions) have also reported positive feedback on how user-friendly and effective the flipchart material is for both officers and community members.
In a video recording about an outreach meeting with fishers, Margareth, an extension officer in Kawa Village, Maluku, demonstrated the material’s learning effectiveness by asking the fishers what their takeaways from the meeting were.
One of them stated: “This meeting is important for us to learn about sustainable fisheries,” and another remarked: “Following good fishing practices will allow us to utilize our natural resources sustainably for generations to come.” Building fisher awareness of sustainable use and responsible practices is key to compliance with the fisheries management measures set out in the various local governments’ fisheries harvest strategies.
6. USAID SEA/NOAA Stock Assessment Training Series has Officially Ended
USAID SEA and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officially wrapped up a years-long collaboration to deliver fish stock assessment training to the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) and Indonesian universities with their 4th and final training workshop on fish stock assessment and harvest strategy development for data-limited fisheries.
The workshop, held virtually on account of COVID19, ran from 31 August until 2 September, focusing on the topic ‘’Data-Limited Stock Assessment Modeling Using Stock Synthesis, and Application in Fisheries Management.’’ MMAF’s Research Institute for Marine Fisheries (BRPL) hosted the event with NOAA experts who have engaged in this USAID SEA capacity building initiative since the first training in 2017.
About 40 attendees from BRPL and North Maluku universities joined to learn about the new generalized and powerful Stock Synthesis Data-Limited (SS-DL) tool developed by NOAA’s Dr. Jason Cope to address limited data issues in stock assessment.
Topics included length-based methods, developing control rules and management strategy, and evaluation testing, and participants were also introduced to how to prepare data for use with the SS-DL tool, and how to interpret the results of its analysis. Although this workshop was the last official activity on fish stock assessment under USAID SEA, collaboration between the NOAA experts and MMAF researchers is expected to continue beyond the Project.
In addition, to enable continued learning, dissemination and uptake of the tool, all training sessions were recorded and are made available through the following links: Day 1 Sessions; Day 2 Sessions – Part 1 and Part 2; Day 3 Sessions