1. Reef Fish Stock Assessment Result Released for Maluku’s Seram Island
USAID SEA has released the findings of its three-year assessment of reef fish stocks around Seram Island in Maluku Province. The assessment results were formally presented to the Maluku Provincial Marine and Fisheries Office (DKP-Maluku) at a hybrid in-person/virtual event held on 25 January and attended by representatives from the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, DKP-Maluku and its district offices, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) in Ambon, Pattimura University, and the archipelagic fishing ports (PPN) of Ambon and Tual.
The Head of DKP-Maluku’s Capture Fisheries Division kicked off the discussions with a presentation on reef fish production trends recorded in Maluku between 2005 and 2020. This was followed by the presentation of the reef fish stock assessment results by fisheries advisors from USAID SEA.
The assessment used about 15 years’ worth of catch-only data collected from 2005 to 2020, and length-composition data collected in 2018-19 through the support of USAID SEA partner WWF-Indonesia. The data and analysis indicated the stocks were at safe levels but close to overexploitation threshold, and the abundance of some stocks declined during the period.
It was agreed that a more effective management strategy is required to ensure sustainable catches. To close the event, there was a discussion on formulating an improved reef fish management strategy to address ecological and human well-being issues, before the Head of DKP-Maluku gave his closing remarks expressing his appreciation for the work done by USAID SEA. He said the assessment results will find application in improving the management of reef fisheries in Maluku.