Planning Begins for Small-Scale Marine Tourism in Maluku’s MPAs
A well-managed marine protected area (MPA) offers pristine natural resources that can potentially attract visitors and contribute revenue to support its management. However, to ensure proper and sustainable tourism development, it is essential that responsible marine tourism programs are identified and incorporated in MPA zoning and management plans. In view of this, the Maluku Provincial Government and USAID SEA recently conducted a small-scale tourism and public-private partnership workshop to identify and provide initial inputs to develop a responsible tourism program to be incorporated into Maluku’s MPA management plans.
Held on 13-15 May 2019 in Ambon City, the workshop had 50 participants from the Marine and Fisheries Agency in Maluku and its district line offices, the Maluku Tourism Agency, other provincial government agencies, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Marine Change, Starling Resources, a local university, other non-governmental organizations, and marine tourism industries in different areas around Maluku. Discussions explored sustainable financing needs and opportunities through government and other sources, and the crucial need for good tourism governance in MPAs through government-private sector partnership, focusing in particular on the MPAs at Sawai Bay, Seram Island, Lease, Koon and Buano. Workshop outputs included technical and stakeholder inputs on sustainable marine tourism, public private partnerships, and sustainable financing relevant to MPA management. Additionally, the workshop resulted in the participants gaining insights on the financial requirements of managing MPAs and the potential for partnerships to support MPAs.
USAID SEA Advocacy Program Grows to 400 “Sea Champions”
The USAID SEA “Pejuang Laut” (Sea Champions) Program has engaged 400 champions since its launch in 2017, including local fishers, customary leaders, youth leaders, women leaders and local government officials. This 2019, the program, which promotes behavior change that leads to improved marine conservation and sustainable fisheries, had its 3rd Sea Champions Convention Workshop in Ambon City, Maluku. Held on 20-22 May, the workshop gathered about 30 champions from the provinces of Maluku, North Maluku and West Papua, who joined 30 representatives from six USAID SEA implementing partners to share their experiences, knowledge, and skills in conducting information and advocacy campaigns to improve their respective communities’ knowledge and behavior towards marine resource protection and sustainable fisheries management.
Key highlights were presentations and discussions from champions who showed tremendous growth from being learners in previous workshops to being resource persons and mentors to their peers, from being less spoken to being good facilitators and community organizers, and that new champions need technical content and capacity support. Examples of champion behavior change include having stopped destructive fishing and testifying how they stopped this behavior to encourage others to stop. Others are now completing logbooks and doing vessel registration, stopping littering in the sea and educating school children and do beach clean ups. One women champion, Rika, (featured) who is a local youth fish seller asked fishers to stop bring small fish to her from fishers. As a result, she’s now seen bigger fish sold to her.
Also highlighted were the experiences of the field facilitators and enumerators among the participants, who said their participation in previous similar workshops has proven to be particularly useful for their respective field projects. These results provided impetus for the USAID SEA behavior change team to commit to providing additional technical and community organizing trainings that are especially tailored for the champions and field facilitators. Even more significantly, the workshop concluded with the champions and partners charting out their behavior change action plans until 2020.
Community-based Surveillance Groups Strengthened to Support New MPAs in Maluku
On 16 and 21 May 2019, more than 50 members of six community-based marine and fisheries surveillance groups (POKMASWAS) in the proposed Lease and Buano MPAs in Maluku participated in mentoring sessions conducted by USAID SEA implementing partner Coral Triangle Center (CTC) and the Surveillance Division of the Maluku Marine and Fisheries Agency. These sessions were part of the POKMASWAS pre-training. They included an introduction to the roles and functions of the POKMASWAS and technical assistance aimed at improving the participants’ knowledge and skills in community-based marine surveillance in accordance with guidance provided by the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) in its Ministerial Decree No. 58/2001 on the implementation of a community-based surveillance system (SISMASWAS). Integral to the participants’ learning experience were practical skills useful for community-based surveillance, including the proper way of filling out a fishing logbook, and creating and maintaining records and documentation of surveillance activities so that these can be used for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the community-based surveillance program.
Consistent with CTC’s training approach, the mentoring sessions were also designed as an advocacy activity to encourage POKMASWAS members to be more active in community outreach on marine conservation. As part of the activity, the Maluku Marine and Fisheries Agency formally recognized, by decree, the six participating POKMASWAS groups and issued individual members official POKMASWAS identification cards to facilitate their surveillance activities. Acknowledging the important role of the POKMASWAS in supporting MPA management, CTC has committed to continue under USAID SEA its training program to build capacity, knowledge and skills in community-based surveillance and thus help address the current lack of knowledge among POKMASWAS members about surveillance policy and procedures, including procedures for incident reporting.
Progress Achieved in Developing Small-Scale Fishing Logbook Policy and Implementation Mechanisms for Indonesia
A USAID SEA-supported effort to establish a catch reporting system for small-scale fishers in Indonesia is moving forward with increasing support from key government agencies. On 12-13 June 2019, USAID SEA facilitated a consultative workshop on the revision of the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) Decree No. 48/2014 to promote the strengthening of fisheries management in Indonesia, particularly through improvement of the quality of catch data as a primary input in the development of strategies for monitoring fisheries status and management. Held in Bogor, the activity was part of a series of workshops aiming to develop a logbook system for small-scale fishing boats of less than 5 gross tons, for which there is currently no existing provision under Indonesian law. It was attended by representatives from relevant directorates under the Directorate-General of Capture Fisheries, who all voiced strong commitment to establish a catch reporting (logbook) system for small-scale fishers, and offered possible ideas for incentive mechanisms to encourage compliance. These ideas, as well as other recommendations from the workshop, will be reviewed by the MMAF legal bureau before they are finalized in a formal regulation, and then integrated with fishing vessel licensing and registration procedures and other relevant government programs.
Small-scale fishers make up about 96% of the entire fishing population in Indonesia, so it is particularly important that their catch is monitored adequately to provide a more accurate estimate of their catch share and ensure reliable stock assessments. Because of the continued lack of a catch reporting system, obtaining catch data from the small-scale sector remains to be a major challenge for fisheries managers in Indonesia.
USAID SEA, Partners Celebrate Innovation Award
USAID SEA Partner Yayasan Masyarakat Dan Perikanan Indonesia (MDPI) and Anova Food LLC hosted a celebratory lunch on 18 June 2019 to mark the SAP Innovation Award for Social Hero that they received recently for their work with small-scale fishers in Indonesia on blockchain technology and Fair Trade practices. The SAP Innovation Awards are given annually by the German enterprise application software provider SAP to showcase innovations that SAP customers and partners are achieving using SAP products and technologies. This year, MDPI, Anova and Harta Samudra were recognized together with Bumble Bee Seafoods for successfully implementing a consumer-facing traceability system in the Harta Samudra supply chain, with data secured using blockchain technology, a first in Indonesia and the world for a small-scale fishery. This improved traceability benefits Indonesian handline fisheries and, on a national basis, shows that Indonesia can successfully implement traceability measures in such fisheries.
USAID SEA attended the ceremony and was recognized together with the USAID-supported Oceans and Fisheries Partnership Project as a major contributor in supporting the work of MDPI and its local involvement in organizing fishing communities into Fair Trade partners and creating their TraceTales tracking system. It was pointed out that the full support and engagement of the fishing communities in MDPI’s community level programs improves the credibility and attractiveness of the tuna products being marketed to foreign buyers.