17 Mar

Building a More Inclusive Fisheries Industry in Aru Archipelago

Through gender mainstreaming and capacity-building programs, the ATSEA-2 Project is committed to promoting gender equity in the sustainable management of coastal resources. From 6-10 March 2023, the project hosted a gender workshop in Dobo, Aru Archipelago. A total of 34 people attended, comprising representatives from national, provincial and district government departments, a women’s organisation, non-government

09 Mar

International Women’s Day 2023: Celebrating the Vital Role Played by Women’s in the Marine and Fisheries Sectors

Marine and fishery sectors in Indonesia are still dominated by men, as women fishers receive less acknowledgement and official support such as subsidies and insurance coverage. Nevertheless, women continue to be actively involved in downstream activities, such as post-harvest handling, selling, processing, storage, packaging and marketing, while also providing labour in both commercial and artisanal

08 Mar

Red Snapper Data Collection in Arafura Sea: First Look Analysis

Since February 2020, the ATSEA-2 Project has been working with the Centre for Fisheries Research (CFR) of the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) to collect daily data on red snapper in the Arafura Sea. The main species of red snapper targeted for study included Lutjanus malabaricus, Lutjanus erythropterus, Lutjanus sebae and Pristipomoides multidens.

07 Mar

Empowering Women and Enhancing Marine Resource Management in Aru Archipelago

In Dobo, the capital of the Aru Archipelago, The ATSEA-2 Project recently initiated coordination and training on the processing of fish skin waste produced by local fish companies. Together with the Aru Department of Fisheries and CV Niaga Indonesia, this collaboration forms part of wider efforts to reduce fish processing waste and create added value

03 Mar

Collaborating Across Borders for Environmental Protection and Management

From 21-24 February 2023, the Arafura and Timor Seas Ecosystem Action Phase 2 (ATSEA-2) Regional Workshop on Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) and Strategic Action Program (SAP) Updating was held in Bali, Indonesia. The workshop brought together 31 participants, comprising National Project Directors (NPDs); Regional and National TDA consultants; TDA-SAP National Working Group (NWG) representatives from

03 Mar

Women’s Cooperatives: Nurturing A Brighter Future in Timor-Leste

Most households in the Barique Posto Administrativo region of Timor-Leste rely on agriculture, livestock and fishing for a living. Income fluctuates throughout the year, making it difficult to make ends meet. Despite having less agency in money management, women carry a larger share of the household’s financial burden. The problem is compounded by their lack

23 Feb

Mainstreaming Regional Climate Change Assessment Results

For the Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS) region, climate change represents an environmental transboundary issue of utmost priority. According to a 2021 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), recent changes in the climate are widespread, rapid and intensifying, and unprecedented in thousands of years. With that in mind, and to better understand

16 Feb

Closing the Net: Supporting Effort to Combat IUU Fishing

Regional problems require regional solutions. This is why collaboration is so crucial to the work being done by the ATSEA-2 Project. Our approach is embodied in the Regional Plan of Action to combat IUU fishing (RPOA-IUU). IUU fishing continues to pose a major threat to the Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS) region. Ever since its

16 Feb

IMPAC5 Congress: Advancing Ocean Protection Through Regional Collaboration

The International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC) is a platform for marine conservation managers and practitioners worldwide. Its aim is to share best practices and exchange knowledge for the protection of marine biodiversity and cultural heritage. IMPAC congresses are held every four years, with five iterations of the congresses already held to date. The most

14 Feb

Advocating Sustainable Fisheries Management in South Fly District

Due to rising demand for fisheries commodities in Papua New Guinea, many fisherfolks are under increasing pressure to overharvest local species. In response, from 15-18 November 2022, ATSEA-2 team travelled to South Fly District to advocate for sustainable approaches to fisheries management among the local people. Together with South Fly District Fisheries and with support

15 Dec

Kolepom Island Becomes First Marine Protected Area in South Papua Province

The Indonesian archipelago already has 28.4 million hectares of marine protected areas (MPA) spread out across its waters. Now, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) has committed to developing 30 million hectares of MPAs by 2030. Kolepom Island in the Merauke district of South Papua Province is a pristine marine habitat that supports

14 Dec

Building Oil Spill Early Warning Systems in Rote Ndao Regency

In addition to its rich natural resources, the Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS) is also known to have enormous oil and natural gas potential. This poses a major risk to the region, in the form of oil spills and other pollution related to shipping. As part of ongoing efforts to mitigate these risks, the ATSEA-2

07 Dec

Fighting for Survival: Sea Turtle Conservation in Timor-Leste

Ancient, beautiful and threatened, sea turtles have roamed the planet’s oceans for millions of years. However, in the past few decades, their populations have been dwindling due to a combination of poaching, habitat destruction and bycatch. Evidence of this worrying decline has been seen in Com Village, Timor-Leste. Com Village is part of Nino Konis

07 Dec

National Validation Workshops to Agree on Transboundary Issues

In the Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS) region, overfishing, habitat degradation and the impacts of climate change continue to threaten marine species. Consequently, there is an urgent need for regional collaboration and transboundary management of economically important marine megafauna, crucial ecosystems and fish species. With that in mind, the ATSEA-2 Project recently held a series

30 Nov

Training and Technical Consultation on Oil Spill Monitoring Guidelines

Oil spills in the ocean are a major environmental problem. These spills pollute coasts and estuaries, while also posing serious health risks to humans. While massive and catastrophic spills attract the most attention, smaller and chronic spills actually occur on a regular basis. To support effective responses to oil spill incidents, a training session was

25 Nov

Data Collection to Support Artisanal Fisheries Management in South Fly District

In the South Fly district of Papua New Guinea (PNG), the ATSEA-2 Project has been busy collecting data on fisheries and the use of fishing gear. Results of this process will inform the ongoing revision of project targets in 2023, particularly with regards to the issue of fish maw harvesting and improvements to fishing gear

10 Nov

Securing Regional Sustainability:Steering Committee Meets in PNG

On 2 and 3 November 2022, after more than two years of virtual meetings due to the global pandemic, key members of the ATSEA-2 Project’s Regional Steering Committee (RSC) gathered for the first time in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, for the 4th Regional Steering Committee meeting. The ultimate aim of the meeting was to

04 Nov

Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management Implementation for Red Snapper, Shrimp and Barramundi

The Arafura Sea is home to the 718 Fisheries Management Area (also known as WPP-NRI 718). Here, Pelabuhan Perikanan Nusantara Tual (PPN Tual) is the Executive Coordinator responsible for the implementation of a Fisheries Management Plan (FMP/RPP) in the region. Considering the vital role the area plays in maintaining the productivity and sustainability of fishery

09 Oct

Developing Knowledge on Sea Turtle Conservation in Com Village, Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste had just celebrated its Independence Day the day before the nation’s first ever sea turtle training session, which was hosted on 29 November 2022. It was a nice, sunny day in Com Village, Lautem Municipality, Timor-Leste. The heat did not seem to dissuade participants from joining the training, which was held in a semi-outdoor

06 Oct

Causal Chain Analysis of Priority Transboundary Issues: Key Process and Results

In support of the ongoing updating of the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) for the Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS) region, a series of Causal Chain Analysis (CCA) workshops was organised by the ATSEA-2 Project in September 2022. By establishing cause and effect for priority transboundary issues, these workshops will subsequently inform policy responses and ongoing

06 Oct

Community-led Surveillance in Apara Village, Southeast Aru

With the objective of holding discussion and coordination with the community-based surveillance group (POKMASWAS) named Gwer Ketabar in Apara Village regarding their progress in monitoring the use of Marine Protected Area (MPA) resources, ATSEA-2 Project team met with Muhidin on 29 September 2022. He is one of the fishermen who is also in charge of

06 Oct

Prioritising Issues Together: Causal Chain Analysis of Priority Transboundary Issues in the ATS Region

Overfishing, habitat loss and the effects of climate change together pose a major threat to a significant portion of marine species in the Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS) region. In response, regional cooperation and transboundary management of marine megafauna, vital ecosystems and economically significant fish species are sorely needed. In respect to the unique circumstances

06 Oct

EAFM Training in South Fly Complements Customary Fisheries Management Practices

South Fly villagers in the western province of Papua New Guinea (PNG) have long understood the importance of nature. To them, fish and marine resources are essential to livelihoods. A recent training session provided by ATSEA-2 focused on using an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) to make this link between fisheries and nature even

05 Oct

Webinar Series Raises Awareness on Oil Spills in the ATS Region

As part of wider efforts to raise awareness and build capacity among key stakeholders in the ATS region, the ATSEA-2 Project held a series of informative webinars in 2022, covering topics related to conservation of habitats and resources. As the year drew to a close, this quarterly webinar series was concluded with a pair of

01 Oct

Meet the Women Fishers of Papua

“I’ve been fishing since I was 17 years old,” says Mama Elizabeth Limai, her lips stained red with betel nut and her forehead beaded with sweat from a hard day’s work. “I normally catch ikan kaca (glassfish), gulama (white croaker), kakap (snapper), kurau (threadfin) and udang (shrimp),” she explains. Today, a bundle of glassfish hangs

29 Sep

Funding for Oil Spill Preparedness in the Timor Sea, East Nusa Tenggara

The Deputy Governor of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Province, Josef Adreanus Nae Soi, has offered his support to budget allocation for increasing the capacity of the marine pollution response team, with the addition of new members. The move is part of wider efforts to mitigate the risk of oil spills and lessen their impact through

19 Sep

Giving Voices to Stakeholders: ATSEA-2 Creative Writing Training

In order to raise awareness of important issues and impact policy, sharing information is essential. Information is the bridge between decision makers, researchers and community members. For ATSEA-2, it also enhances the visibility, understanding and impact of projects.  In line with ATSEA-2 goals to improve the dissemination of project information, the Regional Project Management Unit

15 Sep

Introducing STELINA: A New Era for Traceability in the ATS

Traceability is a tool to ensure traded fish come from legal fishing activities and healthy, sustainable stocks with quality assurance. In global trade, traceability processes are a fundamental requirement applied by Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) and countries importing fishery products. In fishery industries such as the tuna trade, RFMOs require documentation of catches for

14 Sep

Improving the Management of Sea Turtles and Critical Habitats: ATS Countries Endorse MPA Network

Image Credit: UNDP Indonesia for the ATSEA-2 Project Addressing local threats, while also increasing fisheries productivity, protecting biodiversity and building resilience to climate change.  The ATS region supports foraging and migration for various rare and threatened sea turtle species. Cognizant of this fact, littoral nations in the region are taking action to incorporate sea turtle

10 Sep

Oeseli Village Establishes Policies for the Protection of Coastal Communities

The sea provides livelihoods for more than 140,000 people living in Rote Ndao. However, in the past two years, marine resources have been threatened by irresponsible fishing activities and extreme weather related to climate change. To build resilience, improve fishing practices and mitigate the impacts of climate change, ATSEA-2 has been working with partners, officials

07 Sep

Technical Consultation Guide to Oil Spill Early Warning System in Rote Ndao District

The Marine Pollution and Damage Response Team in the Waters of Province of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) recently carried out one of their work programs, namely technical consultation on oil spill early warning system guidelines in Rote Ndao Regency. Prepared in collaboration with PT BMT Indonesia, the guidelines outline procedures for reporting oil spill events

01 Sep

Spreading the Word: ATSEA-2 Collaborates with Media Networks in the ATS Region

Worldwide, journalism has played a major role in raising awareness of environmental issues and generating support for biodiversity protection. In the Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS) region, marine and coastal ecosystems, along with the economic and ecological wellbeing of people, require more attention. For that reason, the ATSEA-2 Project is collaborating with the Alliance of

01 Sep

Exploring Regional Collaborations for Oil Spill Preparation and Response

In 2021, ATSEA-2 completed a regional assessment of marine and land-based pollution hotspots in the Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS) region. The study showed that, while the ATS region is highly productive and rich in resources, it is also under threat from oil spills due to expansive oil and gas exploitation, especially in the Timor

01 Sep

Exploring Transboundary Issues With Communities in Merauke

Thick clouds veiled the sky and drizzle was just starting to come down when the Kumbe-Merauke crossing sign came into view. Kumbe is one of the coastal villages in south-eastern Merauke, Papua. It takes 2-3 hours to get there from Merauke sub-district, passing through damaged and potholed village roads – a journey which is challenging,

30 Aug

Local Fishers Helping to Develop a South Fly Fisheries Management Plan

In August of this year, the ATSEA-2 Project journeyed with the National Fisheries Authority to South Fly District in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea. Their aim was to discuss fisheries management issues through public consultation, as part of wider plans to develop an artisanal fisheries management plan. Community engagement and involvement are seen

30 Aug

New Study Identifies 14 Marine Pollution Hotspots in Timor-Leste

A recent study on marine and land-based pollution on the Southern coast of Timor-Leste found 14 hotspots with severe pollution loads. The study calls for urgent action to prioritise pollution control plans in order to protect the country’s marine resources; a key source of food, livelihoods and jobs for the millions of people who depend

16 Aug

ATSEA-2 Goes ‘Live’ to Advance the Updating of the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis for the ATS Region

“A transboundary problem is an environmental problem that is transboundary in scale – In other words, it is an environmental problem originating in, or contributed by, one or more countries and affecting (or impacting) another,” said Matthew Fox, the Regional Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) Specialist. Considering developments in the Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS) region

11 Aug

Spreading the Word: ATSEA-2 Collaborates with Media Networks in the ATS Region

Worldwide, journalism has played a major role in raising awareness of environmental issues and generating support for biodiversity protection. In the Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS) region, marine and coastal ecosystems, along with the economic and ecological wellbeing of people, require more attention. For that reason, the ATSEA-2 Programme is collaborating with the Alliance of

30 Jul

Gender Mainstreaming: Assessments and Training in Rote Ndao Regency

Since gender mainstreaming has been officially adopted as a strategy in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Paris Climate Agreement, the term has become ubiquitous. Though various organisations and agencies now espouse their commitment to gender equality and to mainstreaming gender in their policies and programs, the actual integration of gender perspectives and analyses

29 Jul

21 Journalists Selected to Join a Training on Marine Ecosystem in the ATS Region

The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) of Indonesia and the Arafura & Timor Seas Ecosystem Action Phase II (ATSEA-2) Project announced 21 outstanding candidates to join journalist training on Sustainable Management of Marine & Coastal Ecosystems in the Arafura Sea & Timor Seas Region. Here are the lists of the selected participants. Indonesia: Sakinah Fitrianti

26 Jul

Synchronisation of Action Plans for Responding to Marine Pollution in NTT Province

In July 2021, the Marine Pollution Handling Team was formed by the East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Provincial Government, with support from the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MAAF) and the ATSEA-2 Project. This has helped strengthen cross-institutional coordination among government and non-government partners in NTT. To be successful in responding to potential marine pollution

03 Jul

ATSEA Calls on Key Stakeholders in Papua New Guinea to Deepen Working Relations

Building on the foundational results from the first phase of the GEF-financed and UNDP-supported Arafura and Timor Seas Ecosystem Action (ATSEA) Programme, the second phase project, ATSEA-2, welcomed the formal participation of Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the process of developing a sustainable programme for the management and conservation of marine and coastal resources in

02 Jul

Climate Change and Poverty: Critical Transboundary Challenges in Rote Ndao

Marine resources make vital contributions to food security, livelihoods and the economic development of coastal communities. Climate change is expected to have profound effects on the status and distribution of coastal and oceanic habitats, the fish and invertebrates they support and, as a result, the communities and industries that depend on these resources for survival.

28 Jun

Mobilising Youth to Become ‘Guardians of the Earth’ on World Environment Day

Thinking of ways to be guardians of the earth? The easiest way to be done is maybe by rethinking what you have considered as an “eco-friendly” lifestyle As Indonesia, like the rest of the world, deals with the current pressing environmental challenges, this year’s World Environment Day (WED) provided a sense of urgency to increase

28 Jun

ATSEA-2 Webinar for World Sea Turtle Day

Sea turtle populations are greatly threatened by a number of human activities, such as unselective fisheries, direct take, predation, light pollution, illegal trade, habitat loss and climate change, to name a few. As a key part of marine food webs, they help us maintain a healthy ecosystem by controlling numbers of prey species (such as

25 Jun

Developing Alternative Livelihoods in Rote Ndao

Climate change is having an unprecedented impact on people’s lives and livelihoods. This has severe implications for environmental degradation, but also exacerbates the issue of gender inequality in coastal communities that rely on marine and fisheries resources. The Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS) region is one of the areas where such climate variability and its

25 Jun

Visiting the Frontlines of Conservation in Timor-Leste

The clock had just struck half past six in the morning in Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste, when four staff of the Regional Project Management Unit team arrived for a visit. Since the last time they were here, in early 2020, Covid-19 had caused the world to shut down. Therefore, the visit to Timor-Leste was

24 Jun

Journalist Training on “Sustainable Management of Marine & Coastal Ecosystems in the Arafura Sea & Timor Seas Region”

Open Recruitment Journalist Training “Sustainable Management of Marine & Coastal Ecosystems in the Arafura Sea & Timor Seas Region” The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) of Indonesia, with the support of the Arafura & Timor Seas Ecosystem Action (ATSEA) Programme invites active journalists in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste to take part in a journalist training

23 Jun

Minister Calls for Improved Inter-Sectoral Collaborations to Achieve Biodiversity Goals and Targets

In most countries, synergy and coherence among existing biodiversity policies has been identified as a serious gap in the implementation of the National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs). The creation of an integrated approach, underpinned by strong institutions and good governance, can be an essential step for countries to effectively achieve their biodiversity goals

23 Jun

Conserving Sea Turtles, Conserving Our Future

Sea turtles have roamed the oceans for the last 110 million years. Existing for so long, however, does not mean that sea turtles are immortal or live stress-free lives. In fact, current sea turtle populations are greatly threatened by several human activities, such as unselective fisheries, direct take, predation, light pollution, illegal trade, habitat loss

19 Jun

Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis in Merauke: Using a Participatory Approach

Over time, the Arafura Timor Seas (ATS) have seen many changes in terms of governance, ecology and the socio-economic conditions of the area. In light of this ever-changing landscape, Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) is one of the primary goals of the GEF/UNDP/PEMSEA ATSEA-2 Project. In the latest round of TDA, various information gaps and data

15 Jun

Regional Collaboration, Political Will: Protecting Natural Marine Heritage in the ATS Region

Humanity is facing unprecedented challenges to its long-term survival on planet Earth. Foremost among them is climate change, as rising temperatures pose an existential threat to the human race. More than 70% of our planet is covered by oceans, which are natural climate regulators. To avoid disaster and mitigate the impacts of climate change, the

14 Jun

MMAF Calls for International Collaboration to Combat IUU Fishing

In order to curb the practice of Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing, Indonesia’s Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) has encouraged member nations of the Regional Plan of Action to Combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (RPOA-IUU) and G20 countries to implement responsible fisheries standards. This is an affirmation of the MMAF’s active

07 Jun

Building Capacity and Raising Awareness: Training for Timor Sea Pollution

Due to human activities, pollution and degradation of marine ecosystems are becoming increasingly difficult to control. The negative impacts of pollution are many and varied, and their effects ripple outwards to impact many different parties. Causes of pollution range from the use of explosives in fishing to industrial waste, offshore oil drilling and the disposal

03 Jun

Slick Response: ATSEA-2 Webinar Tackles Oil Spills in the ATS

The Timor Sea in the Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS) region is particularly vulnerable to oil spills. One of the biggest in recent times was the Montara disaster in 2009, when an estimated 40 million litres of oil leaked from a faulty rig. ATS countries have differing levels of preparation and response capacity when it

01 Jun

Developing an Artisanal Fisheries Management Plan with South Fly Communities

The dinghy ride from the town of Daru to Sigabaduru village in the South Fly District of Papua New Guinea (PNG) was about three hours long, but smooth and enjoyable. The sea was calm on a dull day without wind. These were the perfect conditions for exploring the scenic collection of islands dispersed throughout the

11 May

Community-based Turtle Conservation in Lautem, Timor-Leste

On 4 May 2022, the GEF/UNDP/PEMSEA ATSEA-2 Project collaborated with a prominent local conservation organisation called ‘The Hadomi Ambiente Youth Group’ in Com Village, Lautem Municipality. Together, they facilitated a focus group discussion (FGD) in relation to turtle conservation for the region. Members of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) and representatives of Conservation

10 May

Women Improving Family Economies Through Processing of Fish Products

Hailing from Merauke in Indonesia (one of the ATSEA-2 main project sites), Hasnah is a prominent figure in her community. Her daily routine is a mixture of regular housewife duties, combined with the processing of fisheries-related products, especially those concerning snapper and mackerel. Several years ago, her husband’s boat capsized in heavy seas. After that,

07 May

Organise and Optimise: The Women’s Cooperatives Driving Economic Development in Timor-Leste

In the Manatuto Municipality of Timor-Leste, rural poverty poses a major problem. But the key to solving these issues could be found in the promotion of sustainable fishery practices, with a focus on empowering women’s entrepreneurship in rural areas through a series of cooperatives. The ATSEA-2 Project is working in the Barique Posto Administrativo in

27 Apr

Experts Unite to Upscale Sea Turtle Conservation Efforts

Sea turtles have been around since dinosaurs roamed the earth. For more than 100 million years, these large, air-breathing marine reptiles have inhabited tropical and subtropical seas throughout the world. Today, green and loggerhead sea turtles are classified by IUCN as “Endangered”, while leatherback and olive ridley sea turtles are classified as “Vulnerable” and hawksbill

21 Apr

Synergy the Key to Sustainable Fisheries Management in the Arafura Sea

The Arafura Sea is a marine area in Indonesia with the potential for abundant fishery resources, especially for deep-sea species such as snapper. To support its sustainability, it is necessary to implement sustainable fisheries management activities. Efforts have been made, among others, through an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) and a Fisheries Improvement Project

21 Apr

ATS Region Steps up Collective Action to Protect and Revitalise the Ocean

The ocean connects, sustains and supports us all. Yet its health is at a tipping point and so is the well-being of all that depend on it. To restore balance to the ocean, we must work together. The Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS) region is home to coral reefs, a quarter of the world’s mangroves,

10 Apr

MMAF Initiates Fishery Intelligence Regional Network to Combat Illegal Fishing

The Director General of Surveillance for Marine and Fisheries Resources, Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of the Republic of Indonesia (Ditjen PSDKP) has openly submitted a proposal to establish an intelligence network in the fisheries sector of the ASEAN region, as well as the Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS). The establishment of this intelligence

05 Apr

Community Empowerment and Coral Reef Restoration in Rote Ndao

Coastal communities are on the frontline of coral reef management. These groups depend on coastal ecosystems for their food and livelihoods; by empowering them to manage and restore coral reefs, reliable, immediate and mutually beneficial custodianship of these habitats can be secured. Coral reefs in the Rote Ndao Regency area support a high level of

01 Apr

Merauke and Aru Islands Fishermen Adopting Digital Solutions to IUUF

One of the most productive and most important fishing grounds in Indonesia, Fishery Management Area (WPP) 718 is facing a serious threat from illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. However, fishers and officials in WPP 718 have embraced a cutting-edge new electronic logbook system that greatly simplifies the process of registering vessels and reporting catch,

31 Mar

Preparing a Roadmap for the Supervision of Marine and Fishery Resources in WPP 718

Efforts to increase the effectiveness of the supervision of marine and fishery resources in Fisheries Management Area (Wilayah Pengelolaan Perikanan, or WPP) 718 require synergy between law enforcement agencies. To that end, a road map for collaborative management has been developed by the Directorate General for Surveillance for Marine and Fisheries Resources (PSDKP), the Marine

31 Mar

Coffee Morning and Media Meeting in Merauke, Papua

In the ongoing mission to raise awareness of marine and fisheries conservation issues, which have hitherto not been widely discussed, the media represents an essential tool. This is why the ATSEA-2 Project held a meeting with a number of journalists from print and online media in Merauke on Tuesday, 19 October 2021. First and foremost,

30 Mar

New Blue Economy Opportunities For Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste is at a critical juncture: the blue economy brings new opportunities. Identifying new and innovative financing options is critical. The recent UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26) underscored the urgency of the global transition away from fossil fuels towards greener models of economic growth that bring people and planet back into balance. The

30 Mar

The Importance of Gender Analysis and Mainstreaming in Rote Ndao District

Gender analysis is an essential first step in the process of identifying gender barriers in any ongoing or planned programmes. This information can inform better strategies and help develop programmes that are more relevant to the varying needs of men and women in target communities. With that in mind, the ATSEA-2 Project conducted a gender

30 Mar

Community Monitoring Group: Combatting IUUF in Karey Village

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUUF) is a major issue throughout the Arafura Timor Seas (ATS) region. In the Aru Islands of Maluku province, the ATSEA-2 Project and its partners are working alongside local communities to build up surveillance and strengthen defences. Uniquely, traditional community monitoring groups, called pokmaswas, are leading the way, using customary

29 Mar

EAFM in Timor-Leste: the Blueprint for a Greener Future

The ATS is home to a number of red snapper species, but three are particularly important to commercial, artisanal and recreational fisheries in the region: saddletail snapper (Lutjanus malabaricus), crimson snapper (Lutjanus erythropterus) and red emperor (Lutjanus sebae). To ensure the sustainability of these species, effective management of fisheries is vital. In Timor-Leste, coastal fisheries

28 Mar

Strengthening Commitments: Supporting the Implementation of ICM in Timor-Leste

The ATSEA-2 Project has been working to support the creation of integrated coastal management plans (ICM), including baseline assessments in the Barique Posto Administrativo region. The baseline assessment focused on climate change vulnerability and adaptation options, including ecological and socio-economic conditions at two coastal villages (Aubeon and Uma Boco) in Barique, Manatuto Municipality. The ICM

25 Mar

Working with Communities in South Fly to Develop an Artisanal Fisheries Management Plan

After a short dinghy ride from the island town of Daru, the ATSEA-2 team arrived at the coastal village of Aberemabu in South Fly. The tide was receding, exposing a long, black sandy beach interrupted by isolated outcrops of mangroves. The high tide mark at the edge of the village was strewn with nets and

25 Mar

ATSEA-2 DIMS Training: Improving Data Collection and Decision Making in the ATS

Data and information regarding coastal and marine resources in the Arafura Timor Seas (ATS) region provide a vital foundation for decision making, planning and action plans. The process of data collection, validation, analysis and interpretation requires a great deal of time, expertise and resources. In many cases, gaps in the data are discovered where the

24 Mar

Strengthening Targets and Commitments for the Sustainable Development of the ATS Region

Ten years since the publication of the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) for the Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS) Region which provided the technical basis for the 10-year ATS Strategic Action Programme (SAP), the process for its updating was kickstarted through a 2-part Inception Workshop. Updating of the TDA, and later the SAP, are among the

23 Mar

ATSEA-2 and OSRL Join Forces to Raise Awareness of Marine Oil Spills

Marine oil spills represent a major environmental disaster. They can cause significant damage to ecosystems, along with socioeconomic and cultural resources. The impacts of marine oil spills are not limited to the immediate vicinity of the spill, but can be felt across the globe. As the threat from potential oil spill hot spots in the

21 Mar

A Voyage of Discovery: Exploring the Underwater Beauty of Betano

Dominica Paula Jeronimo Guterres, a fresh graduate from the Department of Marine Science of Udayana University, prepares to set off on a dive with a team of marine biologists from the Coral Triangle Centre (CTC). Photo credit: Marthen Welly/CTC for the ATSEA-2 Project I was the only female diver to join the expedition with an

18 Mar

Improving Data Collection for Red Snapper Fishery Management in the ATS Region

Data is a crucial element of fisheries management. Lack of data can contribute to misunderstood stock and inappropriate management, leading to stocks being under or overharvested. To ensure the quality and credibility of data gathered, it is therefore essential to make sure that data collectors have the right skills, tools and knowledge to gather information

16 Mar

Developing a Community Action Plan for Tackling Climate Change in Oeseli Village, Rote Ndao

Located at the southernmost tip of Indonesia, Rote Ndao district is home to a wide range of marine and fishery resources. However, as demonstrated by recent impacts, this area is also especially vulnerable to climate change. To address these issues, the ATSEA-2 Programme is working to develop a clearer understanding of vulnerabilities and formulate an

18 Dec

Gone, but not Forgotten

In Memoriam Dr. Wijoprino (16 June 1960 – 8 November 2021) Dr. Wijopriono was a senior researcher at the Centre for Fisheries Research (CFR) in the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF). He had both a Master’s in aquatic resource management and a doctoral degree in applied remote sensing from the University of

17 Dec

Taking Action to Improve Stakeholder Engagement in Papua New Guinea

Coordinating and a wide range of agencies and stakeholders can be challenging. For the ATSEA-2 Programme to be effective, all stakeholders in PNG must be synergised towards programme implementation. The availability of agency representatives has been an issue that resulted in a lack of representation for several stakeholders at previous project meetings, and it is

17 Dec

Tree Planting to Tackle the Climate Crisis in Timor-Leste

As the world’s water sources dry up due to climate change, tree planting offers a solution that can help mitigate the damage; trees absorb the greenhouse gases that are a leading cause of climate change, by taking in carbon dioxide and transforming it into oxygen. They also absorb water and store it in their roots,

17 Dec

Improving Catches and Reducing Post-Harvest Losses for Fishing Communities in Lautem

Comprising mostly non-motorised boats, the fisheries sector in Timor-Leste is almost exclusively small scale (subsistence and artisanal). Here, the fishing fleet uses low-technology  gear (such as gill nets and hook and line) to capture reef and surface-dwelling fish species (such as sardines, mackerel and flying fish) in shallow waters within 2 km of the coast,

16 Dec

Gender and Inclusion Survey Reveals Impact of Pandemic on Women, Informs Effective Response

Rote Ndao, on Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara province’s southern coast is home to close to 150,000 people, many of whom earn their livelihoods as fishers. The twin-disasters of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the April 2021 Seroja cyclone has impacted the community, with women facing the brunt of the impact. A recent survey conducted by

16 Dec

Tackling Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing in Merauke, Papua

Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing endangers marine biodiversity in the Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS) region, while also threatening the livelihoods of fishers in littoral nations. Last year, a report by the ATSEA-2 Programme highlighted the need for improved surveillance, to ensure fisheries legislation is implemented effectively3. Today, authorities In Merauke, Papua are leading

15 Dec

Coaching New Trainers for Sustainable Red Snapper Fisheries

Various species of snappers are increasingly coming under threat in the Arafura Timor Seas (ATS) region, due to overfishing of individuals that are yet to reach maturity. In response to this problem, and building upon a previous round of training and group discussions, the ATSEA-2 Programme invited 18 fisheries managers from Indonesia, Timor-Leste and Papua

15 Dec

Replicable Models on Marine Plastic Pollution Monitoring

On 9 November 2021, Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) held a webinar on replicable models on marine plastic pollution monitoring. Taking place from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (GMT+7) via Zoom, the webinar was open to all interested parties. “This event aims to highlight all lessons learned from the ASEAN-Norwegian Cooperation Project

15 Dec

Climate Change Adaptation Measures to Benefit Coastal Communities in East Asia, Arafura and Timor Seas

Countries in the East Asian Seas (EAS) region and its neighbouring Pacific countries are highly vulnerable to rising sea levels, due to its low-lying communities and densely populated coastal cities. Additionally, the region also has the highest proportion of weather-related disaster displacement in the world. A recent climate change vulnerability assessment for the Arafura and

14 Dec

ACB, PEMSEA Hold Virtual Session on Transboundary Cooperation for Marine Protected Areas in the ASEAN Region

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) and Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) resource facility jointly organised a virtual session on 21 October 2021, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to discuss the status and progress of conservation and transboundary management of coastal and marine biodiversity in

14 Dec

Making Asia-Pacific Resilient to Climate Change

The risk of extreme climate-related disasters is expected to increase further due to climate change. Severe impacts of climate change on nature and society have already been observed globally and locally. Thus, taking steps toward adaptation is crucial to mitigate and avoid such impacts. The Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Information Platform (AP-PLAT) welcomes potential collaboration

13 Dec

Third RSC Meeting: ATSEA-2 Looks Ahead to 2022

Hosted by the Government of Australia through the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE), the Third Regional Steering Committee (RSC) meeting of the GEF/UNDP/PEMSEA Arafura and Timor Seas Ecosystem Action Phase II (ATSEA-2) took place on 6 and 7 December 2021. Using a hybrid format (both offline and online via Zoom), the event

17 Nov

Overcoming Gender Disparities in the Marine and Fisheries Sector, Aru District, Indonesia

This article was published on IW:Learn website Women play an essential role in pre- and post-harvesting processes in the marine and fisheries sector. However, their contributions are often overlooked and undervalued, especially when it comes to making decisions. The ATSEA-2 Programme hosted a discussion involving a range of national- and local-level stakeholders, which encouraged women to voice

05 Nov

Improving Seafood Processing Skills for Women in Manufahi

This article was published on IW:Learn website On any typical day in the coastal communities of Manufahi Municipality in Timor-Leste, more fish may be harvested than can be consumed or sold. At other times, there is a need to preserve seafood so that it can be stored over long periods when the supply chain is unpredictable, such

01 Nov
These fishing boats are capable of sailing as far as Malaysia, Indonesia and even Papua New Guinea in search of fish stocks. Image credit: gerrypopplestone licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

New Coordination Forum Established to Tackle Violations of Fisheries Law in Papua

A local fisherman from a village on the Southern coast of Merauke is casting a net from his boat, looking to catch some fish for his family’s dinner. Several large vessels appear on the horizon, heading towards the area where he’s fishing. They’re clearly not from Merauke, so are not permitted to fish in these

14 Oct

ATSEA-2 Animation Contest – Winners Announced!

Kina is a little girl with a magnetic attraction to the sea. All her life, the ocean and its creatures have been a source of endless fascination, providing her with sanctuary and solace. But when Kina realises that the marine environment is threatened by pollution, she decides to take matters into her own hands, calling

26 Sep

Upcycling Plastic Waste to Minimise Pressures on Ecosystems and Biodiversity in Manatuto

Located on the south coast of Manatuto Municipality, Uma Boco is one of many coastal villages at risk from the impacts of climate change. Keeping in mind the need to conserve and protect the environment, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) of Timor-Leste and UNDP Timor-Leste organised three days of training in an awareness-raising

19 Sep

Tackling Fisheries Management Issues in South Fly District

In the South Fly district of Western Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG), the issue of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is very common. Especially in coastal villages, fisherfolk rarely report details of their catch to the relevant authorities. Through a combination of management, policy and education, the ATSEA-2 Programme is working to conserve

18 Sep

Devising a Harvest Strategy for Red Snapper in Arafura

The Arafura region is home to a great number of red snapper fisheries. Though they differ in size, most of them have high rates of catch in common. To regulate fishing practices and avoid over exploitation of marine resources, it is essential to have a policy that regulates existing utilisation patterns. This can be achieved

14 Sep

Paving the Way for Sustainable Red Snapper Fisheries in the ATS

Snappers are a popular table fish, but the stocks are under immense pressure in some parts of the Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS) region. Reliable data on stock status for snapper fisheries in the ATS region are relatively limited and outdated, making the assessment of stock status especially challenging. Gathering up-to-date information on high-value fishery

14 Sep

Strengthening Gender Inclusion in the Marine and Fisheries Sector

Climate change is having an impact on fisheries, habitats and biodiversity in the Arafura and Timor Seas region, with greater impact on people’s lives and livelihoods expected in future. This will further exacerbate existing gender and other social inequalities, with women and other vulnerable groups bearing the brunt of negative consequences. Prevailing social conditions and