Indonesia Field Project: Fishing Agreement
This Indonesia Marine Conservation Agreement (MCA) field project was developed as a case study for an assessment undertaken by The Nature Conservancy in 2009-2010 and documented in, MCA Feasibility Analysis for the Coral Triangle/Indonesia (English version, Bahasa Indonesia version). The project illustrates how several for-profit companies can work with a local NGO and local fishermen to reach agreements that protect coral reefs, fishing grounds, and fishermen livelihoods, thereby benefiting all parties.
In 2002, the Gili Eco Trust (GET) was established to support efforts of a community-based security effort (SATGAS) in protecting the reefs around Gili Trawangan, one of three islands located within the Gili Marine Recreation Area off the coast of Lombok, Indonesia. Seven SCUBA dive centers at Gili Trawangan (through GET) reached an initial agreement with SATGAS to ban dynamite and cyanide fishing in the area. The SCUBA dive centers began collecting a small fee from each diver visiting the area to help fund the effort.
In 2008, a formal agreement (which has no termination date) was signed between GET, SATGAS, the Forestry Department, and groups of local fisherman to control destructive net fishing in approximately 103 hectares of nearshore reef areas around the island of Gili Trawangan (see site map). The area subject to the 2008 agreement makes up approximately 1.5% of the 6,140-hectare marine recreation area. The agreement allows net fishing in only two small areas around the island. There is a first-come, first-serve policy implemented around the island for fishermen and SCUBA divers — if fishermen are at a site first, divers must go elsewhere; if divers are at a site first, fishermen must go elsewhere.
Explicit incentives in the 2008 agreement include monthly direct cash payments to seven fishermen families. Explicit monetary sanctions are available to both parties for noncompliance. The project is sustainably financed via daily diver “donations” that go directly to GET for fishermen payments, guard salaries, community outreach and development, and reef restoration.
GET worked with the dive operators in the area to create a user “donation” system in which divers in the marine recreation area donate 40,000 rupiahs per day which goes directly to GET. Plans are pending to extend the donations to hotel and restaurant guests because not all tourists at the marine recreation area are divers. The Forestry Department had never initiated a user fee system (or established management mechanisms) for the marine recreation area and supported GET creating a funding system for their own purposes. The Fisheries Department is now transitioning in as the responsible government authority and has not objected to GET continuing to collect the user funds. GET holds the funds in their account and uses the funds to pay the salaries of four community patrol guards and two other GET staff, the monthly fees paid to net fishermen, miscellaneous project expenses for education, outreach, community development, and some degree of bio-rock reef restoration.
This MCA has evolved significantly over time. The project started when SATGAS entered into an informal agreement with destructive fishermen. While SATGAS achieved some level of success, it lacked funding, focus, and momentum. SATGAS then formally partnered with GET, a newly established local non-profit group led by a local diving company. GET, however, did not achieve noted success until a full-time program manager was hired, which allowed GET and SATGAS to focus solely on conservation-related activities and the diving companies to focus solely on ecotourism activities. Due to its success, GET is now starting to address community development issues.
GET employs local staff to patrol the areas covered by the agreement and works collaboratively with Forestry and Marine Fisheries enforcement personnel. GET staff operate one patrol boat at least once per day throughout the entire 103-hectare MCA area. Approximately four patrol staff rotate these duties. If government enforcement personnel do not accompany the patrol staff during patrols, GET staff (and dive operators) take photographs of violators and submit complaints to officials to take action. Until recently, KSDA (Forestry) personnel were based in the village full time and were able to respond and join the GET patrols, which worked well. At present, however, management of the marine recreation area is transitioning to DKP (Fisheries), which means neither government agency has staff present. GET is making attempts to get DKP enforcement personnel based locally within the community for quicker access and potential joint patrols. Compliance is considered good as infractions are rare.
Within the Gili Marine Recreation Area there are three islands. Prior to the full implementation of the MCA project, one island (Gili Trawangan) contained tourism infrastructure such as boat landing sites, island transportation (wagons pulled by horses), hotels, restaurants, glass bottom boats and dive shops/operators. There have been and continue to be frequent boat transportation to the island that brings several thousand visitors to the area every year.
Delphine Robbe, Manager
Big Bubble Dive
- MCA Fact Sheet (download pdf, 221k)
- Gili Eco Trust
- Big Bubble Dive
- Green Hero: Gili Islands’ Delphine Robbe