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 and Fisheries Ministry (KKP), Maritime Security Agency, Marine and Air Police, and the Navy, in cooperation with various stakeholders at the central and local levels, especially in Indonesia’s Maluku and Papua provinces.

On Tuesday, 8 March 2022, a workshop was held by Destructive Fishing Watch (DFW) Indonesia in collaboration with the ATSEA-2 Project and with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to discuss the preparation of strategic plans and a roadmap for monitoring marine and fishery resources in Maluku and Papua. The workshop, which was conducted online, included presentations from the Director of Control and Operations at PSDKP, Dr. Pung Nugroho; Head of the Marine Affairs and Fisheries Service of Maluku Province, Dr. Abdul Haris, M.Si; and the Head of the Marine and Fisheries Service of Papua Province, Ir. Iman Djuniawal.

The Head of the Fisheries Research Centre, BRSDM KP, alongside the National Project Director of the ATSEA-2 Project, Yayan Hikmayani M.Sc noted in their opening remarks that WPP 718 is a productive fishing area, but is also prone to Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUUF). “WPP 718 will be a pilot location for scalable fishing that requires monitoring readiness to prevent IUUF practices,” said Yayan. “especially the unreported aspect by Indonesian fishing vessels,” he added. The waters of WPP 718 cover the provinces of Papua, West Papua and Maluku, based on the Decree of the Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries No. 50/2017 concerning the estimation of potential, the number of permissible catches, and the level of utilisation of fish resources in the WPP-NRI. Yayan confirmed that the potential annual catch of fish resources in WPP 718 is more than 2.6 million tonnes.

Director of Control and Operations at the Directorate General of PSDKP, Dr. Pung Nugroho said that his party had prepared several strategies to carry out supervision in WPP 718. “There are three approaches that we have prepared to supervise WPP 718, namely increasing the capacity and intensity of supervision, taking firm action against IUUF perpetrators and empowering fishermen,” said Dr. Nugroho. He added that during 2021 his party conducted inspections of 2,672 Indonesian vessels, 114 of which were found to have violated fisheries laws and were subsequently arrested.

The National Coordinator of DFW Indonesia, Moh Abdi Suhufan, encouraged the active role of the Maluku and Papua provincial governments to monitor waters, by referring to the marine and fishery resource monitoring roadmap of WPP 718, stressing the urgent need to prepare regional action plans for IUUF countermeasures in each of these provinces. “Supervision of fishing activities in WPP 718 requires the participation of the region, especially within the 12-mile zone,” said Abdi. For this reason, he proposed that the provinces develop a more comprehensive strategy and action plan containing programme indications and the confirmed timing of their implementation.

“Regional Action Plans can provide directions for preventing and prosecuting IUUF violations at the local level,” concluded Abdi.

As part of its contribution to increasing the effectiveness of marine and fishery resource monitoring in FMA 718 and to address this need, the ATSEA-2 Project is currently facilitating and supporting the process of strengthening the Fisheries Crime Forum in Maluku and Papua provinces, as a process towards the preparation of Regional Action Plans for Combating IUUF in those two provinces.

(by Moh Abdi Suhufan – National Coordinator at DFW Indonesia)