Coral Triangle fishers agree on a set of recommendations to address bycatch



Posted on 17 June 2010  | 

Bali, Indonesia—Fishers from local communities and private companies in the Coral Triangle region collectively agreed on a set of recommendations on the last day of the Coral Triangle Fishers Forum today.

These recommendations include:

  • mainstreaming bycatch issues in regional legislation and implementing them into national policies, removing tariffs on all eco-friendly fishing gear
  • establishing more vertical integration along the entire supply chain on bycatch issues
  • providing incentives to fishers to transform their fishing methods
  • establishing partnerships with academic institutions and fisheries schools to raise awareness and capacity on sustainable fisheries and best fishing practices among the younger generation and
  • conducting more research and studies to inform policy-based decisions.

The recommendations will be presented by the Secretariat of the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI) to its members.

Specific commitments, pledges and actions were also made by individuals and organizations to take the recommendations of this forum forward.

The three-day Coral Triangle Fishers Forum had fishers from around the region sharing experiences, lessons learned and innovative ideas on implementing more responsible fishing practices.

“This first-ever fishers forum has created a collaborative platform for fishers to start working closely together to solve bycatch and secure a more sustainable and equitable future for the fishing industry in this region” says Keith Symington, Bycatch Strategy Leader of the WWF Coral Triangle Programme.

Bycatch is one of the most insidious problems facing fisheries in the Coral Triangle today, threatening marine biodiversity and fish stocks as millions of endangered species including marine turtles, sharks, and marine mammals and thousands of tons of unmanaged fish species get indiscriminately caught in fishing gear each year.

“Such ineffective fishing practices are undoubtedly depleting our oceans of highly valuable species on which millions of people depend for food and income” says Symington.

“It is encouraging to see fishers in this region, big and small, recognizing the urgent need to transform their practices and cooperate with key players across the entire supply chain to ensure the health of ocean resources and ultimately, the future of their businesses” adds Symington.

The inaugural forum provided opportunities for fishers to develop new partnerships, scale-up effective models and techniques, look into gaps in policy and regulation, and tap economic benefits and market incentives to improve their fishing practices.

The Coral Triangle Fishers Forum, deemed to be the first of many, was hosted and organized by WWF and the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of Indonesia, in collaborative partnership with the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) and made possible through the generous funding of Edeka, the biggest retailer and seafood seller in Germany that has committed to sourcing 100% sustainable seafood products by 2012.

ENDS
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Editors note:
  • The Coral Triangle—the nursery of the seas—is the most diverse marine region on the planet, matched in its importance to life on Earth only by the Amazon rainforest and the Congo basin. Defined by marine areas containing more than 500 species of reef-building coral, it covers around 6 million square kilometres of ocean across six countries in the Indo-Pacific – Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste.
  • It is home to 3,000 species of reef fish and commercially-valuable species such as tuna, whales, dolphins, rays, sharks, and 6 of the 7 known species of marine turtles.  
  • The Coral Triangle also directly sustains the lives of more than 120 million people and contains key spawning and nursery grounds for tuna, while healthy reef and coastal systems underpin a growing tourism sector. WWF is working with other NGOs, multilateral agencies and governments around the world to support conservation efforts in the Coral Triangle for the benefit of all.
  • For more information on Coral Triangle go to www.panda.org/coraltriangle
Visit the Coral Triangle Fishers Forum websection

For further information:
  • Paolo Mangahas, Communications Manager, WWF Coral Triangle Programme, +60136730413, Email: pmangahas@wwf.org.my
  • Aulia Rahman, Media Officer, WWF-Indonesia, Tel: +62818863722, Email: arahman@wwf.or.id

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