Turning the Tide for Coastal Fisheries

Entry Overview

Warning! This Area is Heavily Patrolled. A community-based marine patrol in Tanjung Batu Village, Berau District, East Kalimantan, Indonesia
JALA (Jaringan Nelayan / Fishers Network)
RT.3 Pulau Derawan
Berau, Kalimantan Timur
2° 19' 52.644" N, 117° 56' 54.6684" E
Describe the problem: 

Community in Tanjung Batu village decided to take action when blast fishing grew worse without any legal consequences. Although the practice is banned in fishery law, the enforcement is poor with the classic excuse: insufficient budget. The overwhelmed fishers planned to have mass demonstration in 2010 to get serious attention from the government. Fortunately, the plan backfired into something good; the fishers realized it was better to work together rather than conduct a mass demonstration which could lead to anarchy. The fishers established JALA (Jaringan Nelayan/English: Fishers Network), a community organization for stewarding the marine waters of Tanjung Batu village from illegal fishing activities. JALA organizes regular patrol activity which includes law enforcement officers.

Biodiversity Impact: 
By using this patrol scheme, the marine area of Tanjung Batu village has been well protected and fishers can go fishing nearby using sustainable techniques such as hook and line or net. This environment state has raised fishers’ awareness regarding coral reef ecosystem and they wanted to do more for environmental improvement. After enjoying a year of significant success of the patrol initiative, JALA decided to expand its achievement by proposing community-based Marine Protected Area (MPA). The proposed MPA stretches approximately 250 ha northeast of the village, and the initiative had been discussed with local government, law enforcers, and other stakeholders. The MPA initiative is now in the process of becoming village regulation, which means the MPA will be recognized by law (de jure). Furthermore, JALA is eager to learn about monitoring of resource use in Tanjung Batu waters, in order to develop biodiversity database which can be used for measuring the ecosystem health and for developing future management.
Human Well Being and Livelihood Impact: 
Fishers of Tanjung Batu need no travel far for fishing. Although there is no scientific data, however the fishers feel that their profit is improving due to the low capital for the fishing operation. Fish that previously had become rare to see, such as groupers, have become common harvest anymore. Three middlemen even can get better profit by tagging his products as environmentally friendly. Beneficiaries of the improving condition are also experienced by recreational fishers. As the fish stock has increased, so has the recreational fishers. On weekend, Tanjung Batu waters are full with recreational fishers from Indonesia and even Malaysia. Villagers of Tanjung Batu gain additional income upon this by renting fishing boat, providing accommodation, opening convenience store, etc. Furthermore, few of the illegal fishers from neighboring village have also gained advantage by renting their fishing boat and decided to stop practicing illegal fishing. Although the number of the converted fishers is unknown however it is hoped that more fishers will follow the footsteps. In the other hand, law enforcers are proud in taking part on community welfare, which could give positive perception to their corps. In addition, communication amongst community, local government, and law enforcers has evolved into equal partnership; no voice is unheard. Fishers and middlemen are the direct beneficiaries of the patrol initiative. According to 2009 population statistic data, their numbers are around 908 while total inhabitant of Tanjung Batu village is 2,641 from 723 households.// As an organization, the fishers have learned to organize themselves and to share responsibility. JALA consists of three departments i.e. hook and line fishers, stationary lift net (Indonesian: bagan) fishers, and patrol. Additional department has been added recently, monitoring. Within these departments fishers learn about public speaking, presenting, organizing activities including meeting with other stakeholders, making report, etc. The patrol itself is a practice of management. JALA has to manage the available funding for providing fuel, where the price is inconsistent in Berau district, and other logistic. JALA has also to manage the confidentiality of the patrol activity as past experience showed the leaked schedule caused the illegal fishers switched their time of activities. As JALA plans to develop an MPA, management aspect of JALA’s works will be add up. JALA will learn how to manage the MPA in form of rules and regulations. In governance aspect, JALA has succeeded in bringing together all enforcement elements into monthly patrol activity. JALA has gained trust and support from the police, army, navy, and local government and has become important stakeholders for fishery issues in Tanjung Batu village. Since the establishment of JALA and its patrol initiative are relatively new, there has been no replication applied so far. However the success story is starting to be heard to other villages within Berau district, and there were requests for knowledge sharing by few villages.
How many years has your solution been applied? 1 year // Have others reproduced your solution elsewhere? No // JALA organizes monthly patrol activity using available local resources. For the patrol boat, JALA uses boat of Berau Marine Affairs and Fisheries Service; while for financing the patrol, JALA collects money from its members. Realizing community do not have authority in arresting illegal fishers, JALA asked law enforcement officers to participate in the patrol. After all, patrol is part of the law enforcement work. The whole activity is financed by fishers of Tanjung Batu. No specific amount is charged to each individual, everything is voluntarily based. JALA hopes that its success can convince government and even private sectors to support. Meanwhile JALA will also try to carry out fundraising activity by selling merchandise.
The community-patrol initiative has succeeded in decreasing illegal fishing practices within Tanjung Batu waters. Although there is no study for comparing the situation before and after the patrol existed, however no further complaints from fishers have arisen. Fishers can go fishing around their village, knowing their resource is protected and they can harvest sustainably. This state of situation was reached after two illegal fishers were convicted into one and half year of prison. During the sixth month of the patrol initiative, the team caught two illegal fishers in Tanjung Batu waters. The evidences were sufficient enough to bring the violators to court. Before JALA establishment, illegal fishers could escape court trial due to the strong back-up from their patron. The patron has power in the government as well as money. However in this case, JALA managed to put social pressure to law enforcers. No bail was set and for the first time the patron could not use his power. JALA safeguarded the legal process from the arrestment period to the court trial at the district capital; which proved very effective. Apparently this case acted as shock therapy for everybody involved. Minority of Tanjung Batu villagers who practice illegal fishing can be suppressed into none; and, of course, illegal fishers from outside are reluctant to conduct any illegal fishing practice within Tanjung Batu waters. // The patrol safeguards Tanjung Batu village area covering 44,274 ha; while the proposed MPA covers approximately 250 ha.

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