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.
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.