Author: Muhammad G. Salim (Fisheries Program Assistant, WWF-Indonesia)
Translator: N.E. Syaputri
Seraya Marannu Village on Big Seraya Island, Komodo Sub-district, West Manggarai, is a village bordering Komodo National Park. The village, with a population of less than 500 households, is dominated by fishermen households. The main catch of Seraya Marannu fishermen is reef fish, like groupers.
There are, at least, 70% of productive age men who work as a fisherman. The dominant fishing vessel is an outboard motorized boat with modified fishing rods as the fishing gear.
Since 2015, WWF-Indonesia, through its capture fisheries program, has collaborated with two groups of fishermen, namely the Joint Business Group (KUB) Sumber Rejeki and KUB Hasil Laut. The two groups consist of 13 people each, where 3 people act as administrators and 10 people as the members.
Both of the fishermen groups are inherited from the fishermen assistance program of Food Security and Fisheries Agency (DKPP) of West Manggarai in 2014. To initiate fishermen in implementing environmentally friendly fishing activities, WWF-Indonesia assisted the groups in the training of Better Management Practices (BMP) for Grouper and Snapper.
The training series aim to increase the capacity of fishermen in capturing and handling groupers and snapper properly and correctly. Not only that, the groups were also equipped with knowledge of how to handle shark as a bycatch according to the Better Management Practices (BMP) Shark Handling Guide.
BMP material was first delivered in 2016 in Seraya Marannu Village with all fishermen of the village as the target audience. During the year of 2018, these two assisted groups exclusively received retraining regarding BMP to fish grouper and snapper.
Before BMP was disseminated, WWF-Indonesia team first assessed the fishing practices carried out by fishermen, whether they are already in accordance with the environmentally friendly fishing rules in BMP. For the initial assessment, KUB Sumber Rejeki fishing practices scored 72% according to BMP. As for KUB Hasil Laut, they scored 73.56% compared to the BMP.
In the training process, fishermen were very enthusiastic in listening to the material. This was proven by the active participation of fishermen in giving inputs based on their experiences so far. For example, how to deal with caught fish that are exposed to decompression during the fishing process.
In addition to providing skills in fishing and handling, the groups were also given an assistance on institutional strengthening. The assistance includes forming group legalities and holding monthly meetings.
The fishermen are increasingly aware: They start to log their catches
After group assistance through BMP dissemination, there were an increase of 9-10% from the previous score, which proved that the fishermen of the two groups began to proceed towards a better and more sustainable fishing.
As an example, fishermen began to record their catches in a joint logbook form. The aim is to find out trends in fishing and fishing season, as well as to contribute to the study of fish stocks in Seraya Island waters. It is hoped that this logbook can be adopted into fisheries management in West Manggarai.
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