Indonesia is one of the largest archipelagic countries in the world and known as the home to the highest marine biodiversity globally. Data show that Indonesia is home to more than 600 coral reef species and 2,000 reef fish species. The areas of mangrove and seagrass in Indonesia are also the largest globally. At present, there are approximately 7 million Indonesian citizens who depend on their livelihood in the marine sector. The efforts to ensure marine conservation are everyone’s responsibility, including the youth. This topic was the main theme of the Dialog Konservasi, held by Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN) on January 27, 2022.
On this occasion, Dialog Konservasi covered a theme, “Harta Karun di Laut Nusantara” (“Treasures in the Archipelago Sea), which invited several speakers, Muhammad Ilman, YKAN Ocean Program Director, and Wolftank Band, YKAN Nature Ambassador, and hosted by Ligwina Hananto. This event was a part of the YKAN campaign supporting the sustainable fisheries program in Indonesia.
“Indonesia’s marine sector needs to be managed well and sustainably. Aside from ecological factors, this sector can be the pillar of the nation’s economy. The challenge that needs to be faced and overcome is unsustainable utilization. YKAN promotes sustainable marine and coastal resources management practices. Efforts that have been made are using integrated coastal management, encouraging sustainable fisheries practices, empowering coastal communities, and encouraging good governance. These efforts undoubtedly involve many partners from the government, academia, and private sectors,” explained Muhammad Ilman, YKAN Ocean Program Director. Ilman continued that YKAN focuses on supporting coastal and marine living resources through catch fish management and coastal fisheries aquaculture programs.
Promoting sustainable fisheries
With water areas that reach up to 70 percent of Indonesia’s total area, the fisheries sector is one of Indonesia’s economic flagship potentials. However, based on the data from the last five years, at present, there are a lot of marine species identified as being below the sustainability point or close to functionally extinct. The main factor of this issue is fishing over the sustainability limit.
“One of the efforts developed by YKAN to encourage sustainable fisheries practices is Fish Improvement Project (FIP) partnership scheme, a fisheries improvement program that encourages the involvement of private sectors in sustainable fisheries management. This program scheme is also supported by Crew-Operated Data Recording System (CODRS), a scientific innovation developed by YKAN that can resolve the issue of inadequate data on marine fisheries in Indonesia,” explained Ilman. Ilman added that with CODRS, data on fishing practices in Indonesia could be tracked to avoid overexploitation.
Shrimp aquaculture has become a fisheries commodity covering 15% of the global fisheries trade. “YKAN, together with the community, stakeholders, and partners, is currently developing an eco-friendly shrimp aquaculture scheme called Shrimp Carbon Aquaculture program or SECURE program,” explained Ilman. SECURE is an effort to restore the mangrove ecosystem and increase traditional shrimp pond production by reducing the area of aquacultures up to 20% and using its remaining 80% for mangrove. “We hoped that this program would provide benefits to restore mangrove ecosystem, increase shrimp’s quality through certification, reduce carbon emission, and increase community’s incomes,” he said.
Supports toward marine conservation also come from artists, who conveyed their messages through the aesthetic approach. The support was delivered through music by the Wolftank band, which consists of Ariyo Wahab, Tyo Nugros, Noey Jeje, and Kin Aulia. “Indonesia’s marine resources need to be conserved and protected. One of the things that we can do is not to litter in the sea, so the sea can still provide benefits to our future generation,” explained Kin Aulia. Like Kin, Noey, another Wolftank member, added that the young generation can be involved with environmental conservation from the smallest unit, the family, through direct action and spreading awareness on the importance of the environment to life.
Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN) is a scientific-based non-profit organization that has been present in Indonesia since 2014. With the mission of protecting lands and waters as life support systems, we provide innovative solutions to realize the harmony of nature and humans through effective natural resource management, prioritizing a non-confrontational approach, and building a network of partnerships with all stakeholders for a sustainable Indonesia. For more information, visit ykan.or.id.