JAKARTADAILY.ID – The Government of Sukabumi District West Java ratified the District Regulation on Fisheries Management and Sustainability of Fish Populations.
The regulation—whose study was facilitated by the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries and FAO through the IFish project—will regulate the governance and synergy of the parties to ensure sustainable management of inland aquatic resources in Sukabumi for a resilient food system.
Periodic data collection conducted by the IFish project since 2021 shows that around 40 percent of river fish catches in Sukabumi District are for family consumption. Another 11 percent is sold for additional income by the community around the river. This figure shows that rivers and other inland waters are important to support the fulfillment of nutrition and the livelihood of the people in the district.
"The wealth of fish resources in the inland waters of Sukabumi District must receive attention from all parties because this district is a strategic route for eel migration. Therefore, Sukabumi District regulations must be developed on expert research and a science-based policy so that management steps in the inland fisheries sector can be carried out in the long term, so that the community may reap long-term benefits," said Yayan Hikmayani, Head of the Centre of Fisheries Research, Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries.
The IFish project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has been working in Sukabumi District since 2018, through demonstration activities for Anguilla bicolor glass eel. Even now, the eel aquaculture industries rely on wild-caught glass eel with a very low life expectancy.
This condition became the focus of the inland water fisheries management technical working group initiated by the IFish project. Based on inputs received from the parties, it was agreed that efforts to conserve eel and other inland water biodiversity require a comprehensive policy set forth in the form of a regional regulation.
Active Involvement of the Community, Experts, and the Government
The District Regulation for Fisheries Management and Sustainability of Fish Resource Populations stipulates the obligation to construct fishways in every weir and dam in Sukabumi District.
Fishways are very important for migratory fish species such as eels and fish with high economic value such as tor, boboso, and tiger eel. Without fishways, the life cycle of these fish will be disrupted, contributing to their population decline.
"We appreciate the involvement of the community, experts, and the government in drafting regulations for sustainable management of inland water fisheries. In addition to the district regulation that was signed today, MMAF and FAO through the IFish project also facilitated the preparation of the Eel Fisheries Management Master Plan in Sukabumi District. These two policies are expected to create integrated management of inland fisheries, as well as strong synergy between parties in the management and utilization of inland water resources, especially for eel fisheries," said Rajendra Aryal FAO Representative for Indonesia and Timor Leste.
The involvement of the local stakeholders in the sustainable management of inland fisheries is an important highlight of this regulation. It regulates community involvement in the supervision and monitoring of inland water fishery resources and building the local community's capacity to conserve ecosystems and fish populations.