ETP Socialization: Raising Awareness of Sustainable Fisheries with Small-scale Handline Tuna Fishers
Parigi is a sub village in Seram Island, located in Wahai village, sub district North Seram, District Central Maluku, Maluku Province. Around 80% the population live as a traditional fisher, especially for yellowfin tuna as the main target. Parigi is also known well as the main contributor to local fish consumption around North Seram, as far as Central Maluku, Masohi. The fishers in Parigi are really strong, using small vessel 8-9 m in length, motor engine 5-30 HP and traditional fishing gear of handline, they explore the ocean to catch big tuna, approximately 30-60 kg/fish. Another fishing village is Sesar, located in Sub District Bula, District Eastern Seram, where traditional handline fishing is also important as a livelihood.
The skill to catch tuna by using handline is inherited by the ancestor year to year. However the skill does not include knowledge and understanding about the role of ETP species (Endangered, Threatened and Protected) in the marine ecosystem such as shark, rays, sea turtle sea bird, dolphin, whale and other marine mammals. So when these ETPs caught as by-catch, fishers will land them on the boat then will sell them to the middleman or will be taken home for household consumption or sell to local market. In order to increase the understanding and knowledge of small scale handline tuna fisher in Parigi and Bula, on 17 May and 19 May, MDPI as the partner of USAID SEA project conducted ETP socialization for 56 fishers.
The socialization was attended by DKP and fisher associations of Tanjung Tuna Sesar, Tuna Parigi and Tuna Pantura from Bula and Parigi. In the opening, Darwis, section head of capture of DKP Eastern Seram and Rudiman Wally, head of Parigi village, delivered thanks on the initiative to make the activity. They also invited the fishers to follow the regulation related to ETPs species and love the sea by not throwing rubbish, garbage or waste to the sea both during fishing activity and in daily activity.
Next was the introduction about ETP species and the regulation that was delivered by Timur Data Collection Officer of MDPI and Karel, Regional Supervisor Maluku MDPI. In the presentation, we introduced the various ETP species such hammer head, thresher shark, whale shark, manta ray, sea bird, all sea turtles, dolphin, whale and all marine mammals. Also we explained the regulation and ecosystem role of ETPs. As the example the whale shark in the regulation of Minister for Marine Affair and Fishery of Indonesia No. 18/PERMEN-KP/2013 is fully protected. Sharks, as top predators, are “the doctor of sea”. They eat ill fish, so the sickness will not spread to other fish. Sharks also maintain the balance in the ecosystem food chain, which if broken, would result in an uncontrolled domination of a lower predator species. We also emphasized that currently ETP populations are decreasing due to low reproduction characteristics and high exploitation rates.
“Shark and another ETP species are rarely caught by handline. But previously, if it was hooked by my gear, I land and cut it. Now after getting the information about the importance and ecological role of ETP in the marine ecosystem, I put high awareness on them and avoid catching ETP species. For the next I will release the ETP species.” said Syanudin Wally, Fair Trade Fisher Association member. He hoped, the awareness of ETP will be continued to other fishers to make all fishers aware of the importance of ETPs species for sustainable fisheries and healthy ecosystems
By : Putra Satria Timur