Indonesia has developed a road map to develop and implement an ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAFM). Since 2010, Indonesia has taken steps to develop indicators for the implementation of an EAFM. By 2014, all fisheries management areas will be managed using an EAFM approach, including red snapper fisheries. The Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) has shown strong intentions of improving the fisheries management by re-licensing and reduce the numbers of fishing vessels and enhancing monitoring of harvesting.
Indonesia’s Commission for Stock Assessment 2011 report classifies groupers in the Java Sea (FMA-712) as overexploited. Uncertainty in these evaluations is likely high (e.g., due to deficient catch data reporting) and the exploitation status of particular species is unknown. Information on the stock structure is also lacking. No management plan known to be in place for this fishery. Small-scale fisheries (SSFs) in Indonesia are practically unregulated, without any control over fishing capacity. The catch reporting system is deficient, with catch data being only collected for vessels > 5 GT.
Until the early 2000s, groupers were not considered an important fishery resource from the management perspective. More recently, groupers were included in the list of Indonesia’s Commission for Stock Assessments (MMAF, 2011), but evaluations are still based on limited information (e.g., catch from the small-scale fisheries is not considered) and not disaggregated by species. The lack of reliable catch data is one of the major sources of uncertainty. The stock and exploitation status of particular species is thus unknown; information on the stock structure is also lacking.
With the exception of the shared grouper fisheries in Arafura, Aru and Timor Sea, where there has been some research and specific management recommendations, information on the coastal snapper/grouper fisheries across Indonesia is very limited. Other than the national fisheries evaluations, which currently also include groupers, no specific scientific advice is known to be provided. The implementation of an effective licensing scheme and catch data reporting program, are some of the issues that need to be addressed in the SSFs sector in general (CCIF, 2013; Sunoko and Huang, 2014).
No reference points are defined.
Currently, Indonesia’s Commission for Stock Assessments conducts evaluations for the most important fisheries groupings, in which groupers are included. The most recent evaluation considered groupers in the Java Sea (FMA-712) to be “overexploited” (MMAF, 2011). However, uncertainty in this evaluation is likely high and the exploitation status of particular species is unknown (CCIF, 2013).
There is no data on exploitation rates or biomass trends. Specific landings data for groupers is available since 2001. During the 11-year period from 2001 to 2011, total grouper landings were lowest in 2004 (41.5 thousand tons), and have been increasing since then, with a total of 74.1 thousand tons reported in 2011. Blue-lined seabass is the most important grouper species in terms of catch, followed by coral trout. In 2011, blue-lined seabass represented 60% (44,322 tons) of total grouper landings, followed by coral trout (20%; 14,482 tons), humpback hind (12%; 8,685 tons), honeycomb grouper (6%; 4,315 tons), and finally greasy grouper (3%; 2,255 tons) (MMAF, 2012).
This fishery falls within the small-scale fisheries sector, where only small boats are used to catch snappers and other reef fish relatively close to the shore. Small-scale fisheries (SSFs) management in Indonesia (all vessels <5 GT, Law No. 45/2009) is the responsibility of District Governments (Law 32/2004), which have control over coastal waters up to 4 nm from the coast. Other than some fishing gear restrictions (e.g., the use of destructive fishing gear such as explosives or poison), SSFs are practically unregulated. Small-scale fishers allowed to operate almost anywhere inside the Indonesian EEZ. Fishing licenses are not required, meaning there’s no control over the SSFs fleet capacity (CCIF, 2013).
No recovery plans are known to be in place.
Small-scale fisheries are practically unregulated in Indonesia, thus compliance cannot be fully ascertained. Catch from the small-scale sector (including the snapper/grouper fishery) is largely unreported. There are still reports of the use of illegal fishing methods such as blast fishing in some areas (e.g., Chozin, 2008 Varkey et al., 2010).
Specific effects of this fishery on protected, endangered or threatened species in Indonesia are at present unknown. There are reports of interactions of coastal gillnets with leatherback turtles Dermochelys coriacea (Vulnerable; 2013 IUCN Red List) (Adnyana, 2006), but this fishing gear is not relevant in the small-scale fisheries for reef fish.
OTHER TARGET AND BYCATCH SPECIES
The main target species of this fishery are snappers (Lutjanus spp.) and groupers (Family Serranidae). Other reef species are also captured, but detailed information on the catch composition in this fishery is almost inexistent. In other regions of Indonesia, red snappers comprised most of the catch (40.4% in average) in the bottom longline fishery. Other catches were deep-sea snapper (27.1%), groupers, and other snapper species.
The impact of this fishery on the bottom habitats is unknown, but likely very low for handlines and bottom longlines (Chuenpagdee et al., 2003).
In 2011, there were 88 marine conservation areas (in forms of marine national parks, marine nature recreational parks, marine nature reserves and marine wilderness reserves) in Indonesia, totaling 13.9 million hectares (Susanto, 2011).
Figure 1. Marine Protected Areas in Indonesia – consists of Nature reserve (Cagar Alam/Suaka Alam), National Park (Taman Nasional), Wildlife reserve (Suaka Margasatwa), Marine Nature Recreation Park (Taman Wisata Alam/taman Buru/Taman Wisata hutan raya) and District Marine Protected Area (kawasan Konservasi Laut Daerah) (Source: Yunia, 2010)
For small-scale fisheries in particular, other than the no-take zones within some MPAs no specific spatial or temporal restrictions are known to be in place.