FishCollab fosters better coastal governance

Dr Nils Krueck (front, centre) with members of the Bungaiya community and the FishCollab team at Selayar.

Two coastal communities at our pilot site at Selayar in Indonesia have strengthened the governance and management of their coastal ecosystems and fisheries, as a result of their participation in the design of the CCRES behaviour change tool, FishCollab.

FishCollab is participatory diagnosis and planning tool. It has been co-designed by social scientists, community leaders and government officials to assist government, NGOs and communities find a better way to govern the management of coastal ecosystems and MPAs.

The first community, Bungaiya, has prepared new coastal regulations, Regulations for coastal resources management — Bungaiya Village Regulation No. 4/2017: Management of Coastal Areas Based on Local Wisdom.

Meanwhile, a multi-level policy analysis facilitated by the CCRES FishCollab research team at Parak village, has enabled locals to prepare a community-designed Marine Protected Area (MPA) and management plan. This management plan has been submitted for recognition and support by the provincial government.

At Bungaiya, FishCollab social scientists Dr Dedi Adhuri and Mr Ali Yansyah Abdurrahim, from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), and Prof Helen Ross, The University of Queensland (UQ), invited marine and fisheries scientist Dr Nils Krueck (a member of the CCRES marine planning team and co-developer of the CCRES Rebuilding reef fisheries with marine protected areas (MPAs) toolbox, UQ) to join a collaborative process with the local community to assist the Bungaiya participants to confirm the best location, size and number of their existing and planned MPAs.

Community-declared MPAs are an important part of a Selayar community’s management arrangements for its respective waters, alongside customary rules about fishing gear and times.

“On the first day, we went to Bungaiya and showed the community what MPA design tools we have at CCRES and how they can be used,” says Dr Krueck.

“After that we put up a gridded map of their area and some butcher’s paper so we could capture everyone’s input on where they go to fish, what they fish, how much they fish and which candidate areas for protection they had in mind.”  In this process they decided the issues they would like Dr Krueck to help them explore.

The community then nominated a local team of divers to go out into the region’s coastal waters with Dr Krueck and a local member of the social science team, Ibu Andi Rismayani, in order to survey all candidate MPA sites and their surroundings. Other team members, including research assistant Ibu Andi Ismainna, assisted from boats.

Following in-depth discussions with community members about local fisheries during and after each day in the field, Nils then processed all data, ran his optimization models, and went back to discuss findings for alternative MPA design scenarios with the community.

“In a nutshell, we found that there were very few degraded areas along the coastal reef that seemed unworthy of protecting, and we therefore encouraged the community to strictly enforce their first candidate MPA,” says Dr Krueck.

“We then used CCRES tools to highlight that larger than initially planned MPAs are likely to benefit fish population recovery, and we also encouraged them to prioritise at least one MPA in northern community waters given that dominant ocean currents flow southwards. MPAs in northern areas are more likely to spread fish larvae in support of fish population recovery and potential catch increases in community waters that remain open to fishing.”

As part of the research at the second village, Parak, the local CCRES research team, including Mr Andi Penrang, DINAS Marine and Fisheries, Selayar, joined the Parak village marine surveillance force on a trip to map the coordinates of their traditional fishing ground using GPS equipment.

In Indonesia, MPAs are now being seen within a wider context of community-based fisheries management, which focuses on the areas communities protect, and the creation of entire sets of village rules for regulation of fishing gear and locations, as well as the explicit protected areas.

Says Prof Ross: “We’ve assisted two communities — Bungaiya and Parak — to discuss their customary rules and codify them into village regulations, with mapped coordinates of their management areas. This will make it easier for provincial government to formally recognise and support their regulations. These regulations need to be consistent with district and provincial regulations.”

More information: Prof Helen Ross