Indonesia has moved a step closer to developing a harvest strategy for the small pelagic fishery of Fisheries Management Area (FMA) 715 in the eastern part of the country. In March 2019, with support from the United States Agency for International Development Sustainable Ecosystems Advanced Project (USAID SEA), the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) Directorate of Fish Resource Management successfully conducted a five-day training and stakeholder consultation workshop to formulate operational objectives for managing the fishery.
Operational objectives make up the first key element of harvest strategy.
The workshop started with a two-day training that resulted in 30% overall average knowledge gain among participants, which included academics from six universities in the provinces that border or lie within FMA 715, and representatives from government fisheries agencies in North Maluku Province. The training enabled participants to develop skills to perform three key first steps towards the development of a harvest strategy: (i) identification and prioritization of fishery issues based on their impacts on ecological well-being, human well-being, and the ability of the fishery to achieve its optimal benefits, (ii) formulation of operational objectives; and (iii) identification of indicators for each operational objective.
Following another three days of plenary and workshop sessions involving additional participants representing fisheries agencies from four other provinces (in addition to North Maluku) and industry associations, the workshop culminated with participants presenting and refining three sets of operational objectives: ecological well-being, human well-being, and “ability to achieve,” which refers to the ability of the fishery to reach its optimal benefits. All told, 33 objectives were presented, including four ecological well-being objectives, 16 human well-being objectives, and 13 “ability to achieve” objectives, each with its own indicators.
The workshop recommended that these outputs be subjected to a focus group discussion involving key national-level stakeholders for further refinement. Other recommendations were:
- To deliver the objectives-setting training and stakeholder consultation workshops as part of capacity building for stakeholders involved in the harvest strategy development, including local experts, scientists, and technical people (the training should be undertaken before the stakeholder consultation).
- To conduct a focus group discussion on “Acceptable Level of Risk, Indicator and Reference Points,” to be undertaken one day after the focus group discussion on the fishery management objectives.
- To continue to engage university lecturers from FMA 715 in the harvest strategy development process.