A fisheries refugia is not an area that cannot be utilized or become a ‘no-take zone’.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) Ministry is cooperating with ASEAN countries to develop fisheries refugia, which are fishery breeding and nursery areas in which specific management measures are applied to maintain sustainable fisheries stocks.

Head of the Fisheries Research Center of the ministry’s Fisheries and Marine Research and Human Resources Agency (BRSDM), Yayan Hikmayani, noted in a statement here on Saturday that Indonesia had determined two locations for the development of fisheries refugia.

"The locations are in West Kalimantan Province for penaeid shrimp and in Bangka Belitung Province for squid,” she revealed.

The development of fisheries refugia in Indonesia aligns with the measured fishing policy issued by KKP Minister Sakti Wahyu Trenggono.

Hikmayani noted that similar to the Fisheries Management Area (WPP) implemented by the ministry, fishery refugia also focused on maintaining the habitat used by fish during the breeding and nursery phases.

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"Indonesia is committed to following up on all outputs and recommendations of the Fisheries Refugia Project to determine (our own) Fisheries Management Plans to be implemented at the WPPs to support the measured fishing policy," she remarked.

Hikmayani stated that Indonesia had reported the development of the implementation of fisheries refugia in its region at the 6th Regional Scientific and Technical Committee (RSTC) Meeting on Establishment and Operation of a Regional System of Fisheries Refugia in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand held in Samut Prakan, Thailand, on July 4-6, 2022.

An officer from the Research Center for Fish Resource Recovery (BRPSDI) of the BRSDM, Astri Suryandari, noted that the fisheries refugia had been based on a region-based approach to fisheries management.

It aims to maintain the habitat of fish resources and mitigate the impacts of fishing activities on fish stocks in the area during important phases of their life cycle that can determine the sustainability of fish stocks, she stated.

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"A fisheries refugia is not an area that cannot be utilized or become a ‘no-take zone’. It is an area that should be managed sustainably and be closed at certain times to ensure the survival of certain species," Suryandari, who concurrently serves as the Alternate Scientific and Technical Focal Point of the Fisheries Refugia Project in Indonesia, stated.

The Fisheries Refugia Project was initiated by the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC), a regional fisheries organization comprising all ASEAN countries plus Japan.

The project, among others, focuses on capacity building and human resource development in the fisheries sector, financially supported by United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and Global Environment Facility (GEF).

Since 2019, Indonesia has been one of the countries selected to implement the pilot project for fisheries refugia along with five other ASEAN countries: Cambodia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

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Translator: Razi Rahman, Uyu Liman
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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