Boasting almost 20 percent of the world’s coral reefs, the Indonesian archipelago is the largest repository of marine biological resources. Coral reefs provide habitats for 90 percent of the fish caught by coastal fishers and support millions of jobs and subsistence livelihoods in Indonesia. Unsustainable and destructive fishing practices are reducing the productivity and resilience of the coral reefs throughout Indonesia and having a negative impact on health, nutrition, food security, economic growth, and community welfare. Overfishing is also becoming a threat to local coastal livelihoods.
Healthy fisheries with long-term sustainability plans are vital to climate resilience among coastal communities. A “healthy fishery” uses practices that will not deplete the fish supply thereby protecting the livelihoods of those that depend on them. The Indonesian fishing industry already thoroughly tracks the weight and landing sites of catches, but these data only reveal a small part of the short- and long-term health of fisheries. To improve understanding of the fish stock and address potentially unknown vulnerabilities, the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries worked with the Fisheries Service of West Nusa Tenggara Province, the Bureau of Meteorology, and the Indonesia Marine and Climate Support (IMACS) project to introduce new management tools and best practices to coastal communities.