Trip to West Papua: I-Fish Communication Cruiseship, Movie Night and Sustainability Workshop for Students

20 Dec 2016
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The most eastern sites of MDPI are Kaimana and Sorong, West Papua Province. Our amazing Communication & Development team (Deirdre and Nuri) went to both sites for several agenda points: “Diskusi Santai tentang Kepiting” (Informal discussion) with the fishermen, Movie Night activity, and Sustainable Fisheries Workshop for students/college students. This trip took 13 days;Sept 26 -Oct 8, 2016. Here Nuri shares her story…

The first site that we visited was Kaimana. We departed from Bali at night and arrived in the afternoon next day, and passed 3 airports (Makassar, Ambon and Fakfak airports). It was a very long trip, but a fun one. When we arrived in Kaimana, our Kaimana Site Supervisor, Karel Yerusa, came to the airport and greeted us. After dropped our stuff at the hotel, we met our Kaimana Sustainability Facilitator Askenas, who is originally from Arguni Bay, to discuss about the schedule for Kaimana activities, especially about the activities in Arguni Bay where the MDPI site is located.

Before we departed to Arguni Bay, we prepared logistics like rice, vegetables, etc. because those are quite difficult to find there. After the preparation was done, we started the trip to Arguni Bay using a speed boat. It took around four hours to reach Arguni Bay from Kaimana City and we arrived there during lunch time. In Arguni, we stayed in MDPI office in Afu-afu village, around 10 minutes walk away from the port.

The first thing we did before starting the activities was meeting the well-respected Mr. Markus, the head of community-based surveillance POKMASWAS (Kelompok Masyarakat Pengawas) to help us organize the planned activities.

We conducted a Movie Night activity by screening a movie about the ocean and it was attended by around 100 people from Afu-afu village. In the second night, we also conducted the similar event in Kokoroba village and it was also attended by around 100 people.

Beside the Movie Night, we also had a target to survey mud crabs in the fishing ground to identify the mud crab species directly and to train the field team on how to identify the mud crab species. To conduct this survey, we visited five sites of fishing ground: Borgerba point, Tanjung Dua point, Kali Tugarni point, Kalo Karora point and Kali Jarwara point. It took us six hours to visit all five sites using speed boat.

Another important agenda was to conduct “Diskusi Santai tentang Kepiting” to discuss the I-Fish data collected from Arguni Bay with local fisherwomen to improve their understanding and awareness of data collection activities and sustainability issues. It was attended by around 28 people ranging from fisherwomen, village traditional leaders and head of village. The impressive thing was they came half an hour earlier than the expected time, so we started earlier…..this rarely happens and showed us their great enthusiasm! MDPI’s Communication & Development Manager, Deirdre, opened the meeting and then followed by a presentation about MDPI updates from Kaimana Site Supervisor, Karel, and a presentation about data collection result from 2015 & 2016 by Fisheries Information Officer, Nuri. We also played a crab fishing game for the participants to give them idea about catching mud crab in a sustainable way based on government’s regulation.

Our last agenda in Kaimana was to conduct Fisheries Sustainability Workshop in SMK Negeri 1 Kaimana for Marine and Fisheries major students. 64 students attended the workshop and they were very enthusiastic to discuss and to learn about fisheries sustainability, I-Fish data and Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMO).

The next day, Deirdre and I continued our trip to Sorong. The agenda for Sorong was to conduct “Diskusi Santai tentang Ikan”, Movie Night activity and Sustainable Fisheries Workshop for students. In Kaimana, the field team is the data collection focuses on the mud crab fishery, but in Sorong, pole and line tuna is the focus of the data collection team.

The first activity in Sorong was “Diskusi Santai Tentang Ikan” in the canteen of PT. Radios Apirja Sorong. The meeting was opened by Mrs. Yanti, the Field Manager of the company and then MDPI team (Deirdre, Inayah and I) discussed about the data with 19 Pole and Line fishermen. The fishermen were very active during the discussion and they also shared their experiences, even problems they face related to the fishing activities. The problems they shared were also informed to the local stakeholders in the next day event where MDPI led a  discussion with local stakeholders from industry, fishing port and Dinas Kelautan dan Perikanan (DKP). After the presentation and discussion session finished, we played the `Sweet Sustainability` game, the game with various candies are used to represent small fish, big fish and protected animals, aiming to discuss sustainable fisheries and gear types with the fishermen. We also held a Movie Night activity at the school near the MDPI office and it was attended by 29 people.

The next agenda was Sustainable Fisheries Workshop for students in Politeknik Kelautan dan Perikanan Sorong. The event was attended by 44 students and some lecturers. The workshop was opened by the head of the Politeknik and then followed by a presentation about MDPI updates from Inayah (Sorong Site Supervisor) and a presentation about RFMO from Deirdre.

Fisheries Workshop for students in Politeknik Kelautan dan Perikanan Sorong. Photo credit: MDPI

As you can see, our West Papua trip was jam packed with activities and hopefully we have managed to leave behind some useful information and knowledge with the stakeholders we engaged!

We Love Papua!

Writer: Nuriasih Nababan

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