LINI has been working in the Banda Islands since January 2015. Banda Islands situated in the Banda Sea, and part of the Western Central Pacific Ocean. Administratively, Banda belongs to Maluku Province. The Archipelago was famous once as the only world’s source of the nutmeg until the mid-19th century. The project aims to support the development of a Banda Handline Yellowfin Tuna Fishery Improvement Program, which is being implemented by the industry (PT. Intimas Surya), and assisted by the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership.
Yellowfin tuna is an important artisanal fishery, supporting the livelihoods of coastal communities in the Banda Islands. Traditional tuna fisheries from the Banda Sea are caught by fisher folk who live on the remote volcanic islands of the Banda Archipelago in eastern Indonesia. These fishers live in Banda Neira, Kampung Baru, Banda Besar Island, Lalaut, Ai Island, Run Island and Hatta Island. The fishing grounds cover the outer islands of Run and Hatta, and even reach out to Ceram Islands in 50 to 60 nm
The Banggai Laut District has a total area of 12,882.45 km2, with almost 95% of marine areas (12,156.78 Km²). There are 290 islands, with only 44 islands are inhabitants. and 63 villages. The estimated population of 69,514 in 2015. The Banggai Laut lies within a vast area of global marine biodiversity popularly known as the Coral Triangle. Important coastal marine ecosystems in Banggai include coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass beds.
Since 2010, LINI has been involved in marine conservation in the Banggai Laut conducting coral reef surveys, population monitoring of the Banggai cardinalfish, developing ‘no-take’ areas for the protection of the BCF, providing training for fishers and local government. The Banggai cardinalfish, the endemic reef fish to the Banggai Archipelago is a popular marine aquarium fish since mid 90s. The species has been succesfully captive bred in Indonesia. IUCN listed the species as an endangered species in 2007, and it was proposed to Appendix II CITES in 2007, and again in 2016. The fish is on its way to be protected under the Indonesian law.
LINI has been working with the aquarium fishers from Les village since 2008. In 2010, together with the fishers from Les and Penuktukan village, we have been restoring reefs in their villages using artificial reef structures. The reefs in Les village had become seriously damaged due to the destructive fishing methods used in the past. The focus of this project is to restore fish populations and enhance habitats, so that these artificial reefs can provide alternative collection areas to reduce the fishing pressure on natural reefs.
In December 2014, LINI started developing the LINI Aquaculture and Training Centre in Les viilage. The development of the Centre responds directly to the need to reduce the destruction of Indonesia’s globally important coral reefs, and to create incentives for reef management and conservation that benefit coastal communities who depend on coral reef resources.
The Centre received support from the Australian Consulate-General in Bali through their Direct Aid Program, the family of Sianawati Sugiarto (the owner of Blue Star), who kindly let LINI use their land, and from the Australian Volunteer for International Development (AVID) Program.