Indonesia urged to curb fishing effort

By

Neil Ray, SeafoodSource contributing editor, reporting from Bangkok

Published on
March 28, 2010

The Indonesia government has put an embargo on the renewal of license for trawl and purse-seine operations.

However, the World Wildlife Fund is calling for the moratorium to be supported by an immediate reduction in fishing effort to help exploited stocks replenish.

“While recognizing this as an initial step toward the right direction, we would like to see this supplemented by an immediate reduction in fishing effort and strong enforcement of ‘no take’ zones to help fully exploited fish stocks in the Coral Triangle to recover,” said Dr. Lida Pet-Soede, head of the WWF Coral Triangle Program.

“We would also like to seek further clarification on the criteria being used to determine stock recovery and how this is will be evaluated,” added Dr Pet-Soede. “WWF is willing to participate and contribute to this process.”

Vessels engaging in illegal, unregulated, unreported (IUU) fishing remain an ongoing problem for Indonesia. In the Arafuru Sea, the Makassa Straits and the Sulawesi and Flores seas up to 57 percent of skipjack, 71 percent of yellowfin and 75 percent of bigeye tunas caught are juvenile and considered fully exploited. Indonesia says up to 1.6 million metric tons of fish are taken annually by IUU vessels from neighboring countries.

The WWF says a reduction in fishing capacity is the key to addressing the problems of overfishing and bycatch of juvenile tunas in the Coral Triangle. The Coral Triangle encompasses about 6 million square kilometers of ocean and includes Indonesia, the Philippines, Timor-Leste, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Malaysia.

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