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Tackling Culture and Capture Conflicts in Indonesia

INDONESIA - Three years of scientific and socio-economic investigations have led to the development of new initiatives to aid fishing in Indonesian reservoirs, where culture and capture conflicts are rife.

Stakeholder groups have made much progress has been made in the development and implementation of co-management strategies in the Jatilnuihur, Cirata and Saguling reservoirs of the Ciratum watershed in West Java.

According to the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA), these strategies will ensure the long term sustainability of the cage culture activities and improve the livelihoods of capture fishers of the three reservoirs, which collectively account for the production of nearly 700,000 tonnes of food fish annually.

The strategies are being funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) in a cooperative effort between NACA (Prof. Sena S De Silva) and the Directorate General of Aquaculture, Ministry of Ocean Affairs and Fisheries, Government of Indonesia.

They include the regular stocking of herbivorous/ominivorous fish, such as milkfish to enhance capture fishery yields and a reduction in the stocking density and a corresponding reduction in feeding to reduce eutrophication from cage farming activities.

According to NACA, the former has already been put into practice and there had been a significant increase in catch per unit effort from 8.7 to 11.4 kg/ fisher/ day in the fisheries in 2008. Negotiations are ongoing with fishers and the dealers with regard to introducing a levy on the landings to sustain the stocking program on a regular basis.

With regard to cage culture activities a number of farmer groups have been formed and these will form the nuclei to test the effectiveness of adoption of co-management strategies aimed at reducing the nutrient loading and reducing the incidence of fish kills, which are a source of conflict between fishers and cage farmers, says NACA. According to the centre, the trial adoption of the co-management strategies will be monitored closely by the researchers with suitable modifications introduced and disseminated throughout the farming communities of the reservoirs.

the Fish Site Editor

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