Why Indonesia?

largest producer of wild-caught fish1
of Indonesians’ animal protein comes from fish and seafood2
of fishers are small-scale (more than 1.6 million)3
people live near vulnerable coastal areas along the second-longest coastline4 in the world5
tracks of mangroves6 and second-largest area of coral reefs in the world.7

Food security is a critical issue in Indonesia where much of the local diet comprises fish and other seafood. Though the country contains 16 million hectares of marine conservation areas, they lack sufficient enforcement to protect the resources upon which local people rely on for food. Indonesia’s rapidly growing population makes this situation still more complex.

The opportunity for fisheries reform is ripe in Indonesia, where the government has set a goal of effectively managing 20 million hectares of marine protected areas by 2020. A range of traditional systems exists in Indonesia that will support the establishment of restricted access and limited-harvest approaches. These present an opportunity to regalvanize these older traditions for long-term ecological and economic benefits.

Since 2010, Rare has partnered with local organizations across 20 coastal regions in Indonesia to establish and strengthen fish recovery zones. The Fish Forever partners will expand upon Rare’s work to build the capacity of local communities to further add exclusive access areas as a means of improving sustainable fisheries management.

Successes to date:

  • Rare’s coastal fish recovery projects facilitated the final design and successful designation of 34 fish recovery zones covering a total area of 52,139 hectares.
  • The estimated cost per hectare of implementing these 34 fish recovery zones was approximately $0.54.
  • At one site in Triton Bay, awareness of the fish recovery zones increased by 73 percentage points after only two years, which is thought to have led to a reduction in the number of intrusions reported in the protected area.

“The [fish recovery] zone declarations are a tribute to [Rare Fellow] Wida’s tireless efforts to develop strong community ownership over the management of their marine resources.”
-Mark Erdmann, Conservation International’s senior advisor for the Indonesia marine program

In Indonesia, the Fish Forever partners are working to achieve the following results in the first five years of the program:

  • Implement (or in process of implementing) exclusive access areas at 24 sites; and establish, train and activate local enforcement teams at those sites.
  • Increase fish and abundance inside the fish recovery zones at project sites.
  • Train 100 local government officials and leaders to build demand and political support for the Fish Forever strategy.
  • Improve the management of up to 120 municipal marine protected areas.
  • Create a significant Fish Forever-related benefit for local communities through higher fish catch as well as higher catch value through marketability improvements.


Show 7 footnotes

  1. FAO FishStat, “Capture Production by Principal Producers,” 2011.
  2. FAO, “Indonesia, FAO to Strengthen Fisheries and Aquaculture Cooperation,” May 27, 2013.
  3. FAO and WorldFish Center, “Small-Scale Capture Fisheries: A Global Overview with Emphasis on Developing Countries,” 2008, appendix B.
  4. Coastline Lengths of the World: World by Map, accessed February 2014.
  5. “Indonesian Waters,” Living on Earth, Public Radio International, January 7, 2005.
  6. FAO, “The World’s Mangroves 1980-2005.” FAO Forestry Paper 153. Forest Resources Division, Rome, p. 12, 2007.
  7. WRI, “Reefs at Risk in the Coral Triangle,” 2012, 26.