On January 25, 2008, a small group of dedicated marine conservation specialists with expertise in reef fisheries, community development, and fishery management came together to establish the LINI Foundation. As a non-profit organization based in Indonesia, LINI emphasizes a strong community-based focus in all facets of our policies and initiatives. We bring about change through ‘Improving Lives’ for coastal communities dependent on marine and coastal resources, thereby translating into ‘Preserving Nature’ in action.
LINI is the Indonesian term for a ‘line’ or connection. LINI seeks to establish firm and lasting connections between all stakeholders involved in coastal resource management. We believe that establishing and maintaining strong connections between all people involved, will lead to the development of long-lasting solutions for sustainability.
“We recognize the ongoing importance of promoting coastal livelihoods in a responsible and sustainable manner. These livelihoods are closely intertwined with coastal-marine resources. Our challenge is to find ways to connect the key stakeholders in collaborative management.” – Gayatri Reksodihardjo-Lilley, LINI Founder & Executive Director.
BACKBONE OF INDONESIAN MARINE AQUARIUMS
The founder and co-founders had extensive experience in the marine aquarium fishery before establishing LINI. These wealths of experience, networks, and resources, including best practices in marine aquarium fishery, provided LINI with a strong foundation to continue working towards the development of responsible and sustainable coral reef fishery and marine conservation. The first aquarium species to come into attention was the Banggai cardinalfish (Pterapogon kaurderni), an endemic species of the Banggai Archipelago in Central Sulawesi.
The commitment to the conservation and management of the marine aquarium fishery in Indonesia evolved into a broader endeavor with the development of the LINI Aquaculture and Training Center (LATC) in Les Village. This center focuses on conserving endemic species from the Banggai Archipelago, particularly the Banggai Cardinalfish (BCF), as well as species heavily targeted for the trade. Recently, a study on coral species has commenced to better understand the factors that enable coral growth.
LINI stands out as the sole non-profit organization actively involved in developing aquaculture facilities in Indonesia. Through the LATC, we not only engage in marine conservation efforts but also provide valuable training and learning opportunities in aquaculture. Simultaneously, we strive to offer alternative livelihoods to the local communities in Les Village, fostering a harmonious relationship between conservation and socio-economic development.
As we move forward, LINI remains committed to elevate the profile of the marine aquarium fishery in Indonesia to the next level. In July 2023, we launched MAPI, a platform to create a greater market for responsible industries as well as to provide data and information for effective management.
“Indonesia remains an important supplier for the marine aquarium industry, providing a source of income for numerous coastal communities across its islands. However, it’s worth noting that the nation as a whole has yet to prioritize the management of marine aquariums as a top concern. In response, LINI has positioned itself as a strategic partner for both the government and the industry, dedicated to delivering robust data science solutions that support fisheries and conservation objectives.” – Gayatri Reksodihardjo-Lilley, LINI Founder & Executive Director.
SUPPORTING COLLABORATIVE MANAGEMENT OF SMALL-SCALE FISHERIES
Small-scale fisheries are important in Indonesia, involving approximately 90% of the total number of fishers and generating significant employment for coastal communities. These small-scale fisheries face complex challenges, such as unregistered fishers and boats, and a lack of representation of fishers in the decision-making process on policy and fisheries management.
Despite overfishing and destructive fishing practices, many people in coastal areas are more vulnerable due to various factors such as climate change. To build resilience in coastal communities, especially among small-scale fishers in Indonesia, LINI provides capacity building and supports the implementation of collaborative management in small-scale fisheries. Through capacity building, we empower small-scale fishers to find their voices within fisheries management and to share their knowledge, best interests, and needs with other key stakeholders.
Our first engagement with the fisher group was back in 2008 with Mina Lestrari group, a fisher group for marine aquariums. Partnership has been built since then in organizational management and community-based reef restoration. As an organization, Mina Lestari has evolved to a phase where the members are looking for another opportunity of alternative livelihood as snorkeling/scuba dive guides, not solely depending on collecting reef fish in the wild. For us, this changing phase is a positive outcome of years of empowerment. The group can now realize their potential and adapt to the current living situation, considering the growing uncertainty of the ocean.
In 2015, LINI worked in the Banda Islands to support the development of a Banda Handline Yellowfin Tuna Fishery Improvement Project, which is being implemented by the industry (PT. Intimas Surya) and assisted by the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership. The Banda Islands are situated in the Banda Sea, which is part of the Western Central Pacific Ocean and administratively belongs to Maluku Province. The archipelago was famous as the world’s sole source of nutmeg until the mid-19th century. The Handline Yellowfin Tuna fishery in the Banda Sea, as part of the Association of Pole and Line and Handline Indonesia (AP2HI), successfully completed the MSC full assessment in 2020, and on January 26, 2021, the fishery was certified as a well-managed and sustainable fishery, meeting the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Principles and Standard for Sustainable Fishing.
Looking ahead, we have broadened our work to support fishery improvement programs in various small-scale fisheries. We initiated efforts in Banggai, Central Sulawesi (2017), Selayar, South Sulawesi (2019), and South Buru, Maluku (2023).
Our work in Maluku continues to focus on the tuna fishery, while our Sulawesi program promotes the octopus fishery. The octopus fishery improvement project aims to understand the impact of the fishery on the reef ecosystems, address the lack of data and information about the Octopus fishery, and build the capacity of local stakeholders to develop their own small-scale Octopus fishery management program.
We remain dedicated to promoting sustainability, ensuring responsible practices, and safeguarding the future of both marine ecosystems and the communities that depend on them.
INVESTING IN MAN-MADE REEF STRUCTURES
Our reef restoration program was born from a heartfelt plea by a fisher group in Les Village. It was a response to a dire situation where dwindling reef fish populations were directly affecting the daily incomes of local fishers. This decline was a direct consequence of the use of potassium cyanide in marine aquarium fish collection from the 1980s to the early 2000s.
In 2010, our official collaboration with the Mina Lestari fishing group marked the beginning of a mission to rebuild damaged reefs and provide safe havens for reef fish through the deployment of artificial reef structures.
At LINI, we firmly believe that the success of reef restoration efforts is intrinsically tied to the active involvement of local communities. Our approach centers on empowering these communities to become stewards of their restored reefs. This belief has been validated across multiple sites in Indonesia, confirming the efficacy of our approach.
Our reef restoration techniques and philosophy have had a positive impact on coastal communities, not only in Bali but also through collaborations with communities in Sulawesi and Maluku. Our commitment to expanding our engagement remains unwavering.
As we continue to restore reefs, we are simultaneously revitalizing livelihoods and fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility among the communities that consider these marine ecosystems their home.