As the second largest fish producer in the world, Indonesia’s annual fish productivity in 2012 was recorded 5.4 million tons. The huge potential of fisheries resources however has not been effectively managed. A high number of Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported fishing practices by either irresponsible domestic or foreign actors has been evident causing a great economic loss to the country. The data released by Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) in 2015 showed the losses of the country due to illegal fishing practices reaching to approximately 3,000 trillion rupiahs/year.
One of the Fisheries Management Areas (FMAs) that has suffered due to irresponsible fishing practices is the FMA-715, which is the core working area of the USAID SEA Project. Problems there mostly stem from fish bombing activities with the use of potassium as well as the widespread use of fishing aggregating devices which are not environmentally friendly. The USAID SEA Project aims to encourage all stakeholders in the law enforcement network to collaborate in developing effective and innovative solutions for illegal and destructive fishing problems, as guided by the Ministrial Decree of MMAF No. 82/2016 on the Fisheries Management Plan of FMA 715.
The USAID SEA Project assistance that falls under “Law Enforcement” approach focuses on two main objectives:
- Improve the law enforcement system in combatting destructive fishing practices within FMA 715.
A series of activities designed and implemented will encourage stakeholders to develop and or strengthen marine and fisheries regulations and policy mechanisms as the basic platform for sustainable marine and fisheries management. Additionally, the project works to improve awareness and expose the law enforcement officals, prosecutors, judges, and policy makers on the economic and other impacts of illegal and destructive fishing practices. Within the legal framework, the USAID SEA Project will also encourage stakeholders to revitalize existing customary laws and ensure the inclusion of these laws in the formal marine and fisheries regulatory framework. Coordination system among law enforcement groups in FMA 715 (marine and fisheries agencies, prosecutors and judiciaries, fishers, communities including the Village Community Control Group “POKMASWAS,” and businesses) will also be strengthened. Furthermore, in partnership with NOAA, the USAID SEA Project will work to utilize science, technology, and innovation to improve monitoring, control, and surveillance infrastructure and systems.
- Increase compulsory and voluntary compliance efforts of marine and fisheries stakholders in the area.
The USAID SEA Project will provide intensive and hands on capacity building not only to the law enforcement officials and POKMASWAS, but also to fishers, prosecutors, judges, including businesses. A series of education progams, awareness raising activities to improve voluntarily compliance of the stakeholders will also be undertaken.