1. ‘Support Marine Conservation’: Special Lecture Tells North Maluku Students
“I am a Young Sea Warrior: What young people can do to support Marine Conservation Areas in North Maluku!” This is the theme of a special lecture organized by USAID SEA through implementing partner Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) on 12 February in Khairun University (UNKHAIR), Ternate, North Maluku. The lecture aimed to increase young people’s knowledge of the importance of marine conservation and encourage student participation in sustainable marine resource use. Delivered by the Head of Marine and Fisheries Office of North Maluku Province and the Dean of the Faculty of Fisheries and Marine of UNKHAIR, the talk attracted more than 100 students who joined in the discussion and participated in some stand-up comedy, poetry reading and musical performances with marine conservation messages.
Two SEA Champions shared their personal stories about how they motivated their community to stop destructive fishing and protect their resources for their own social and economic benefit. SEA Champions are volunteers who help USAID SEA to advocate behavior change toward improving marine resource protection and sustainable fisheries management in their communities. The students said they felt inspired by what they heard in the forum to help safeguard five new marine protected areas being developed in North Maluku covering 556,437 hectares of critical marine habitats.
2. North Maluku Journalists Vow to Increase Coverage of Marine Fisheries Issues
Recognizing the media’s vital role in protecting Indonesia’s marine ecosystems and natural resources, USAID SEA organized a Journalist Workshop in Ternate, North Maluku on 21-22 February. The forum was designed to encourage in-depth media analysis and coverage of sustainable fisheries and marine conservation issues in the province. The Head of the North Maluku Marine and Fisheries Office opened the workshop, which was attended by 26 reporters and editors representing 24 online and offline media groups in North Maluku.
Topics focused on issues pertaining to marine protected area management and marine spatial planning, particularly the challenges of addressing overfishing and destructive fishing. To provide local expertise and help build local capacity, two media practitioners from AJI (an alliance of independent journalists) and Mongabay Indonesia were brought in as resource persons. All participants expressed interest in topics on marine and fisheries issues that require global, national and local attention, and they vowed to produce more stories, especially on issues related to fishing, coastal development and marine pollution. For its part, the USAID SEA communication team committed to regularly share project information with the journalists, including publications, selected key activities, and success stories.
3. Fisheries Compliance Improved for Tuna Fishing Vessels in North Maluku
USAID SEA through implementing partner MDPI has facilitated the expedited processing of compliance documents for tuna fishing vessels in North Maluku. With USAID SEA support, 50 vessels on Bisa Island have been issued official registration documents (BPKP), while another 62 vessels on Sanana have been issued registration certificates (pas kecil) and are awaiting issuance of their BPKP by the Fisheries Department. As of February 2020, 195 fishing vessels have been legally registered and documented in Maluku and North Maluku, with an additional 460 vessels currently operating with pas kecil. Also last month, following the vessel documentation conducted by the local government in December 2019, 101 vessels were measured in three villages in South Halmahera Regency. Fisheries compliance is key to improving fisheries management and combating illegal fishing.
Vessel registration can be an effective tool for the local government to monitor and minimize illegal fishing, and the vessel data collected provides a record of the estimated fish catch and thus an indicator of fish stock status that can be used to improve fisheries management. But, in addition to this, the vessel registration document also gives assurance to fishers that they will not be caught by law enforcers while they are at sea engaged in legitimate fishing operations. The key challenge is that most small-scale fishers, who own about 95% of tuna fishing vessels operating in Indonesia, reside in remote areas, far from government offices and supervision.
4. Marine and Fisheries Conservation Gets Air Time on Sorong Radio
The World Wide Fund for Nature-Indonesia (WWF-Indonesia), a USAID SEA partner, has launched the first ever radio show on marine and fisheries conservation in Sorong, West Papua, with the first broadcast going live on 18 February. The show is an initiative with Radio Republic Indonesia (RRI) Sorong and part of WWF’s outreach program to increase community awareness for the Seribu Satu Sungai Teo Enebikia Marine Protected Area (MPA), a 338,323-hectare region where the community has limited access to outside communication. The broadcast, which reaches the large South Sorong area, is seen to improve the community’s understanding of the marine conservation and sustainable fisheries activities being undertaken by USAID SEA in the area. The show will run through June 2020, and will be relayed to five neighboring districts, reaching more than 50,000 people.
The first episode featured the Teo Enebikia MPA to introduce its purpose, legal basis, boundaries and status, and discuss how local SEA champions, volunteers who help in USAID SEA’s advocacy work, can support its protection. The show’s guests included Chris Rotinsulu (USAID SEA Coordinator for West Papua), Michelle Momot (a local SEA champion), and Hendrik Sombo from the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries regional office.
Listeners called in questions about the importance of the MPA, and seven callers, including three women, were put on the air. The first episode also featured USAID SEA advocacy taglines voiced by three SEA Champions. USAID SEA uses simple taglines to convey its conservation message, such as ‘Lestari lautku, banyak ikanku’ (directly translated as ‘sustainable sea, many fish’) and ‘Laut sehat, nelayan kuat, masyarakat sejahtera’ (‘sustainable sea for resilient fishers and prosperous people’). To reinforce these taglines, WWF applies them alongside more direct messages like ‘Have you eaten fish today? Let’s protect our sea so there will be enough fish for future generations,’ or ‘Dear fellow fishers, it is 5 o’clock in the afternoon. Do not forget to record your catch in the logbook,’ which specifically promotes the use of the fishing logbook.
5. SEA Champions Help Sway Maluku Village Head on Marine Conservation
Two SEA Champions representing two communities supported by a USAID SEA partner, the Indonesia Locally Marine Managed Area Foundation (ILMMA), played a key role in convincing a village head in Maluku Province to reconsider his position on the development of village regulations to protect local marine resources. The SEA Champions spoke at a village meeting held on 16 March to discuss various marine conservation issues, including sea littering, the need to protect sea turtles, and destructive fishing practices by local fishers, such as fishing with poisonous plants or fine mesh nets, or shark finning.
They shared their experiences with setting up their respective communities’ locally managed marine areas (LMMA), then developing village regulations to protect their marine resources, and now successfully implementing the regulations and establishing no-take zones. This was ILMMA’s latest attempt at persuading the village head to adopt their LMMA approach. ILMMA had previously introduced the approach to this village in March 2018 when they conducted their first data collection in the area, but the village head demurred at the suggestion to develop marine conservation regulations. This time, with the presence of the SEA Champions, the village head responded positively, requesting ILMMA to again explain its program. The SEA Champions’ stories are also being shared with other villages in the Maluku area to encourage similar actions.
6. Extension Officers Training Marks Start of Small-Scale Fishing Logbook Implementation in North Maluku’s Tidore District
USAID SEA assisted the North Maluku Provincial Marine and Fisheries Office (DKP) and Tidore City Marine and Fisheries Office to trial a small-scale fishing logbook system in two villages (Dawaora and Gurabati) in Tidore District, North Maluku. To prepare for the trial, the USAID SEA Fisheries Team conducted on 3-4 March sustainable fisheries training for 11 government extension officers in Tidore to serve as education and outreach arm to facilitate the logbook’s deployment in the field.
These officers will be tasked to build small-scale fishers’ awareness of the logbook and its purpose, and to assist the fishers with logbook filling, recording and reporting. To help them fully accomplish this task, the officers were also trained in the identification of reef, small pelagic and large pelagic fish, and in the use of an educational flipchart developed by USAID SEA.
The flipchart is designed to educate fishers about sustainable fisheries principles and encourage their voluntary compliance with fisheries management measures and practices, including catch reporting, vessel registration and fish size limits. The two-day training provided the officers with several practice opportunities to use the flipchart and to learn specific skills for teaching village fishers to record and report their catches in the logbook, with 21 fishers participating.
USAID SEA will continue the field trial for three months through the Tidore Fisheries Office. The trial experience will be used to guide the further development of the small-scale fishing logbook system in Indonesia to ensure improvement at a national scale in fishing effort and catch data reporting and quality. In addition to Tidore where the trial is led by the government’s extension service, USAID SEA plans to introduce the logbook system in its other sites, with support from its NGO partners.
After the trial, the project will share with the Government of Indonesia (GOI) lessons from its sites to inform the national roll-out of the system, including broad recommendations for strategies and resource needs for scaling up the system, and specific guidelines for logbook data verification, validation and uses. Based on government data, Indonesia has around 600,000 small-scale fishing vessels (less than 10GT), and about 1.5 to 2 million small-scale fishers. USAID SEA has already facilitated the inclusion of provisions for a small-scale fishing logbook system in the current revision of a Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries decree requiring the use of fishing logbook, signifying the system’s adoption by the GOI. However, further investments, capacity building and stakeholder awareness are needed to ensure adoption on the ground.
7. FMA-715 MPA Network Design Handed Over to Provincial Planners in Gorontalo, Central Sulawesi and North Sulawesi
The USAID SEA Marine Biodiversity Conservation Advisor and a representative from the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) last March visited the provinces of Gorontalo, Central Sulawesi and North Sulawesi to present the design results for a marine protected area (MPA) network to be established in Fisheries Management Area (FMA) 715. These three provinces form part of the MPA network, along with the three USAID SEA implementation provinces (Maluku, North Maluku and West Papua).
The team met over a six-day period, from 9 to 14 March, with several offices, institutions and organizations critical in the MPA planning process. These included the Marine and Fisheries Office (DKP) in North Sulawesi, Sam Ratulangi University, Manado Coastal and Marine Resources Management Center (BPSPL), Wildlife Conservation Society, DKP Gorontalo, Gorontalo University, Whaleshark Center in Botubarani, DKP-Central Sulawesi, Tadulako University and BPSPL Palu.
In the last two years, USAID SEA and its partners assisted MMAF to develop a logical scientific framework to supplement the ‘Technical Guidelines of Ministerial Regulation No. 13/2014 on Establishing and Managing MPA Networks,’ which MMAF is currently preparing to introduce across Indonesia. The framework consists of goals, objectives, design criteria and performance indicators for designing and evaluating MPAs and MPA networks that take into account biophysical, socioeconomic and cultural considerations important in the Indonesian context. This framework was first applied in the design of the FMA-715 MPA network involving West Papua, Maluku, and North Maluku, which USAID SEA and its partners facilitated through participatory expert mapping workshops.
Work on the design with Gorontalo, Central Sulawesi and North Sulawesi started in April 2019, when USAID SEA and two of its partners (The Nature Conservancy and Coral Triangle Center), together with MMAF, began collecting data from the relevant institutions and universities in these provinces. The FMA-715 MPA network design has been consulted at an expert workshop in Jakarta and is final, but last March’s visit allowed the team to share aspects of the design that are specifically relevant to the three provinces, including marine spatial planning data and maps that the provincial governments can use to strengthen their respective provincial MPAs and MPA networks in relation to the broader network design. The visit was received with great interest.
The provincial MPA planners were particularly pleased that the team returned to share the design results with them. DKP North Sulawesi and DKP Central Sulawesi said they will use the results to finalize their provincial marine spatial planning (RZWP3K), while DKP Gorontalo indicated they would like to use the results to expand their current provincial MPAs. For their part, Gorontalo University and Tadulako University expressed interest in engaging in a similar exercise in the future.