Two West Papua MPAs Proposed for Ministerial Declaration
On April 16, the Governor of West Papua submitted a letter to the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) requesting official declaration and establishment of two MPAs in the district of Fakfak, namely, Nusalasi-Van den Bosch Bay and Berau Bay, which together span almost 350,000 hectares of critical habitats. This follows a 2017 Governor’s Decree to reserve these two MPAs, and nearly two years of work by the provincial government to develop the MPAs’ Zoning and Management Plans, which USAID SEA assisted through a sub-contract with CI. Ministerial declaration is required for the MPAs to be recognized in the national MPA system and upgraded under Indonesia’s MPA management effectiveness scoring system from the current green (minimally managed) to yellow (established), which will allow for budget, and thus for operations to begin, for implementing the MPAs.
In preparation for the declaration, CI recently facilitated the FakFak local government and community leaders to visit Raja Ampat and learn about developing and managing community-based marine tourism. The visit, which was conducted on April 8-12, involved about 180 participants from various backgrounds, including district officials, technical personnel, village heads, and community members. It culminated in an agreement between the regents of Fakfak and Raja Ampat to work together to strengthen marine tourism development and management in their respective districts. This collaboration was formalized in a memorandum of understanding that included relevant trainings, workshops, and other forms of knowledge and experience exchange on marine ecotourism management, customary community-based surveillance, management and establishment of customary fisheries area, and marketing and promotional strategies.
USAID SEA Links Up with Indonesian Fisheries Ministry to Showcase Assessment Work at International Forum
In their latest joint effort, USAID SEA and Indonesia’s Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) presented their fisheries assessment work at a special scientific session during the recent 12th Asian Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum (AFAF). The session, held on April 11 and called “Toward Sustainable Fisheries in Eastern Indonesia: Assessment of Fish Stock and Fisheries in a Data-Limited Context,” was attended by scientists, academics, researchers and government representatives from Asia and the U.S. It featured six scientific papers detailing findings from the assessment, which involved a series of USAID SEA-supported trainings and workshops on data collection, stock assessment methodologies and analysis. The papers were the collaborative work of fisheries experts from USAID SEA, WCS and WWF with senior MMAF researchers, some of whom attended and presented at the Forum, and who – after participating in 10 regular sessions and seven special sessions and taking note of developments in scientific approaches and methodological research in Asian fisheries – were one in saying that the methodology USAID SEA introduced to them was generally more advanced than those used in other countries.
AFAF is a triennial event of the Asian Fisheries Society organized as an international platform for scientists from all over the world to discuss issues affecting fisheries and aquaculture in the Asia-Pacific Region. Held on April 8-12 in Iloilo City, Philippines, the 12th AFAF attracted participants from 22 countries, thus providing opportunity for USAID SEA to promote and disseminate its project results to an international audience. USAID SEA also collaborated with the USAID Oceans and Fisheries Partnership to mount a USAID Marine Program booth at an exhibition held parallel to Forum. As well as handing out project publications, the booth received and entertained inquiries, including requests for e-copies of the three-volume USAID SEA publication “State of the Sea: Indonesia,” which drew particular interest from exhibition visitors.
NOAA Lends Technical Direction to Fisheries Management in West Papua
A team of fisheries experts from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has identified a potential institutional model for managing West Papua’s anchovy and flying fish fisheries. The team was in Misool in West Papua’s Raja Ampat region on April 22-27 to collect anchovy fisheries data through a review of lift-net fishing operations in the area, following a recommendation from USAID SEA to limit the catch of West Papua’s anchovy and flying fish fisheries through a quota system that defines a reference point based on long-term fish landing data and robust methodology and analysis. The recommendation forms part of a wider set of needed actions that USAID SEA, along with implementing partners Christian University of Papua (UKIP) and Papua State University (UNIPA), identified in early 2019 during public consultations with fisheries stakeholders and managers at both local village and provincial levels in West Papua.
NOAA’s proposed model integrates management measures into local customary practices, formal regulations, and short-term and long-term catch monitoring activities. To support its acceptability among stakeholders, the NOAA team delivered two mini-lectures for researchers, students and fisheries managers that provided useful input on how the management measures for anchovy and flying fish fisheries can be adopted into local or provincial regulation and what the fisheries agency needs to do to monitor management activities. Researchers from UKIP and UNIPA said this interaction with the NOAA experts helped to substantially improve their capacity in stock assessment and fisheries management.
Discussion Kicks Off on North Maluku Mid-Term Plans
USAID SEA and WCS conducted this month a focus group discussion to provide initial inputs to the development of the 2020-24 North Maluku Provincial Mid-term Development Plan and Marine and Fisheries Agency (DKP) Strategic Plan. Held on May 2, the discussion was attended by 31 participants from the different provincial government agencies, universities, and Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries line offices in the province. The discussion covered best practices and lessons learned from the implementation of previous mid-term plans that provided inputs for drafting a policy paper on improving the next plans.
Presentations from the provincial planning agencies and DKP outlined the provincial vision and mission, and highlighted the next five years’ priorities and policy directions for North Maluku’s marine and fisheries sector. The sector’s focus is on strengthening the management and competitiveness of major commodities, particularly tuna, Vannamei shrimp and seaweed, to ensure economic and ecological sustainability; establishing and implementing MPAs to protect turtles and other endangered, threatened and protected species in Sula; and protecting high economic value fish species such as grouper and snapper. The North Maluku government and USAID SEA agreed to follow up the meeting with strategic program recommendations, including best practices and actions for possible inclusion in the plans
Prototype System Launched to Improve Marine Use Permitting in Maluku
USAID SEA in early May introduced to Maluku’s Marine and Fisheries Agency (DKP-Maluku) a prototype information system for marine spatial planning (MSP), which the agency decided to call “SIPRUL.” Designed primarily to record and track the process of issuing marine spatial allocation permits, SIPRUL can store applicants’ data, interactive maps and other relevant information, including regulations for marine spatial planning. In the long term, it can provide an accountable and reliable system to monitor, evaluate, control and improve the allocation of marine use permits to ensure fisheries sustainability. SIPRUL is part of USAID SEA’s institutional support to the provincial government’s effort to provide valid and qualified marine spatial data services to a wider public. Its potential for use in fisheries management was acknowledged by the Head of DKP-Maluku, who said he and his team were committed to support the further development of the system for wider use in marine spatial planning throughout Maluku province.
Fisheries Committee Sets Guidelines for Sustainable Fisheries in Maluku
The guidelines for implementing fisheries co-management in Maluku Province were agreed this month during the 2nd Fisheries Co-Management Committee (FCMC) Meeting. The meeting, held on May 9 in the Maluku capital of Ambon, also formulated a joint action plan to support sustainable tuna management and to disseminate information on the Marine Stewardship Council Certification scheme (MSC Ecolabel) through Maluku’s fisheries management unit.
The FCMC meets twice a year to provide progress updates on the implementation of its action plans, including accomplishments and challenges related to fisheries management. With representatives from the local government, fishing communities, suppliers, academia, fishing industries and local organizations in attendance, this month’s meeting also served as an occasion for the Maluku Marine and Fisheries Agency to distribute vessel registration books to 147 fishermen from Buru Island. Vessel registration is recognition by government that a vessel is authorized to operate in Indonesian waters under certain conditions set forth by Indonesian law.