Banda handline tuna fishers attended training on how to release live seabirds caught on fishing lines

Banda handline tuna fishers attended training on how to release live seabirds caught on fishing lines

Fishers who catch yellowfin tuna with handlines in the Banda Sea look for birds and dolphins as signs of the presence of tuna. Although the handline fisheries have little impact on interactions with Endangered, Threatened, or Protected (ETP) species, there is evidence that some seabirds are being caught on the handlines. Examples of this were captured using time-lapse cameras (TLC), installed during August – October 2018 and March-May 2019.  From 317 fishing trips, three interactions with seabirds were recorded in 2018. 

Interaction with seabirds

On 20 and 27 December 2019, we conducted training in the Banda Islands on live seabird releases. 44 fishers/boat captains attended the training. Fishers were trained on how to release the birds and avoid seabird interactions. 

We would like to thank the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP) staff who provided training materials about Hook Removal from Seabirds.

Poster showing the method of hook removal from seabird (Source: ACAP, click here to see the original poster)

After the training, the Tuna Banda Stakeholder Forum distributed boat licenses (BPKP and PAS KECIL) to tuna fishers in Waer village, Combir village and Kampung Baru village. This was a form of compliance with a Decree of the Governor of Maluku (Peraturan Gubernur Maluku No. 42a Tahun 2017) and a Decree of  Fisheries Office of Maluku decree (DKP Maluku No 523.3/1026/18k Tahun 2018). 

Gearing up to expand our internship program in 2020

Gearing up to expand our internship program in 2020

We started our internship program in 2016, with our aquaculture of marine reef fish and reef restoration in the LINI Aquaculture and Training Centre (LATC), at Les village in North Bali. The program is dedicated to offering Indonesian fresh graduates from fisheries, marine science, aquaculture backgrounds the chance to experience working on a wide range of fisheries and marine conservation issues. Interns will stay at the Centre for at least three months, although many of them extend their internships.

To date there have been 22 interns who graduated from the LINI internship program, with work experience covering captive breeding of the Banggai Cardinalfish, clownfish, preparing green-water and rotifer plankton cultures, building artificial structures for reef restoration, and monitoring the mortality and recruitment of corals on the structures. 

Recently, we expanded our internship program to include our organic garden and education. Amel graduated from Gajah Mada University, Yogyakarta, and Ade from Udayana University, Bali, during the period of September – December 2019, and they both took part in this new program. Amel learned about organic gardening, and Ade helped in educational outreach in the local schools at Les village.

The aim of expanding the program is to explore a wider range of activities for interns in the Centre, and also to help the local community. In 2020, we plan to offer the internship program not only in our Centre in North Bali but also at our field project site in Banggai Island, Central Sulawesi and in Banda Islands in Maluku. Stay tuned for the next news from LINI. We wish you all a happy prosperous new year! 

Amel (left) and Ade (right) helping each other to make the Centre green (photo: Nyka)
Ade and Amel attaching some information posters (photo: Nyka)

Working together with the local tourism industry to support marine conservation in Tejakula Sub-District, Buleleng, North Bali

Working together with the local tourism industry to support marine conservation in Tejakula Sub-District, Buleleng, North Bali

Les village in North Bali became LINI’s first permanent field site in 2010. It started from a live-in with fishers’ families and eventually became the LINI Aquaculture and Training Centre with the community of Les. In 2013, LINI helped to facilitate a Forum Wisata Tejakula or the Tejakula Tourism Forum, which consisted of several resorts in the Tejakula Subdistrict, including Tembok, Sambirenteng, Penuktukan Les, Tejakula, and Bondalem villages. Regular meetings were held until 2015, hosted by the Alam Anda and Gaia Oasis resorts. The forum discussed various environmental issues that needed to be addressed, including waste management, reefs and beach cleaning, and the construction and deployment of artificial reef structures. The Forum was a useful platform on which to connect everyone in the tourism industry who was concerned about the local environment. Unfortunately, the forum gatherings were discontinued in 2015.

Forum Wisata Tejakula meeting in 2013 (photo: LINI)
LINI was helping the AlamAnda Resort (Forum Wisata Tejakula member) with the deployment of artificial reef structures in 2013 (photo: LINI)

On 5th December 2019, LINI organised a gathering of resorts and dive operators from Tejakula Sub-District at the LATC. The purpose of having such a gathering was to introduce LINI and our work in the LATC to the local resorts, and to see whether there was any interest from the tourism industry in collaborating to help to conserve the local coastal and marine ecosystems.

The event included talks, a tour of the Centre facility, and coral planting. We used this opportunity to explain about the range of activities available for the public at the centre (including short visits, the Airbnb Experience, volunteers, and various kinds of training). We also discussed about the various environmental efforts being initiated in the Tejakula District. We received a great deal of positive feedback from the participants, and we hope that, together, we can provide greater support to the communities and environment in the Tejakula District in the future.  

Survey of Banggai Cardinalfish populations and their microhabitats

Survey of Banggai Cardinalfish populations and their microhabitats

Since 2007, LINI has been monitoring the distribution and population density of Banggai Cardinalfish (BCF) populations in the Banggai Archipelago. The survey was initiated because of our concerns about the declining numbers of BCF in the environment, which has led to this species being listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List. The BCF population data over a five-year period (2007 – 2012) were published in a paper “Summary of results of population density surveys of Banggai cardinalfish in the Banggai Archipelago, Sulawesi, Indonesia”.

In 2017, in collaboration with the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia – LIPI) and the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF), LINI conducted BCF population surveys at 16 sites in the Banggai Archipelago. The purpose of the surveys was to establish a baseline from which the impact of the BCF conservation and management could be evaluated.  Since then, the monitoring has continued to be conducted annually. 

The third round of surveys was held in October 2019, and the results are currently being analysed. The monitoring involved the community groups of Bone Baru, Yayasan KALI and BCF Lestari, who received training in survey methodology. The training was done annually prior to monitoring.  The three community group leaders- Saleh, Sain and Abdul, have been part of the annual monitoring efforts since 2017. It is our intention that the community groups will be able to conduct the monitoring of the BCF on their own in the future. Hopefully, in the future, more and more people from Bone Baru and neighbouring villages will join us in the survey and monitoring activities. The growth of community involvement is essential for the sustainability of LINI’s program. In the long run, we hope that the communities can take the lead in marine conservation and management efforts in their own areas. In this year’s survey, the supporting monitoring team includes Parisa, our intern from the University of Halu Oleo, Kendari, and Dawam from Muhammadiyah Luwuk University.

The 2019 surveyors: (left to right) Khalis (LINI), Eveline (LINI), Dawam (Luwuk), Surya (LINI), Sain (BCF Lestari), Saleh (KALI), Abdul (KALI) and Parisa (Kendari) (photo: @Neni)
Update on Octopus fishery management in Banggai Archipelago

Update on Octopus fishery management in Banggai Archipelago

It is almost three years that we and our partner, Blue Venture, have been conducting Octopus data collection in Popisi village, Banggai Laut District. The landing data were collected by our enumerators who are also Octopus buyer middlemen. The data that are collected include date, weight, sex, mantle length, fishers and fishing grounds. The purpose of the collected data is to utilise it in the decision-making process in fishery management, for example, to consider and implement temporary closure of fishing grounds. 

Based on the data collection and consultative meetings with local stakeholders, we conducted the first temporary closure for Octopus in Asasal Island (385 Ha), which was closed from October 2018 to January 2019. The fishers acknowledged the economic benefits of the closure, even though they did not significantly increase when compared to last year’s production. However, we felt the positivity and enthusiasm from the communities in the effort to manage their marine resources. We used the momentum to engage them for the next closure, which is now happening in Bone Baru village, Banggai Laut District. The second temporary closure for the Octopus fishery in Bone Baru (246.36Ha) will continue until December 2019. The period of the closure is three months, the same as in Asasal. Looking at the lessons learned from the first closure, now we are strengthening the surveillance of the closure by its local surveillance team through a signed decision letter from the Head of Banggai Utara Sub-district. The letter included the legalisation of four villagers of Bone Baru, who are responsible for surveillance and enforcement during the implementation of the temporary closure. 

Installation of a buoy to mark the temporary closure’s boundary (photo: LINI)

This year, we have also expanded our Octopus data collection to include two villages in Banggai Kepulauan District: Kalumbatan and Lobuton, with assistance from our new intern, Parisa, who will follow the data collection process in the field. He is supervised by Neni from Yayasan KALI, who has experience in the collection in Popisi. 

Socialisation of Octopus data collection in Kalumbatan and Lobuton with Neni and Parisa (photo: LINI)