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Tsunami + 1 year: Reviving exhausted fisheries should trump replacing boats, gear, experts say

destructive fishing practices;

3. Widespread damage to coastal habitats such as mangroves (and deforestation to support rebuilding efforts) may affect the sustainability of key fisheries resources;

4. History shows us that the continuation of open-access fishery regimes for these coastal communities will lead to an inexorable decline in resources and opportunity.

"To mitigate these factors, co-ordinated action is needed now and the priorities for expenditure of donor funds must be reexamined and more coherently targeted to secure a long-term future for the affected communities. Above all, long-term vision must guide short-term rehabilitation."

The Government of Indonesia is leading the co-ordination and guiding all efforts to help fishing communities, supported and assisted by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

Says WorldFish: "If necessary, donor agencies should be prepared to abandon plans to provide assistance (e.g. boats and fishing gear) that is deemed not to be in the longer term interests of fishing communities."

Specific actions needed immediately include:

  • Involve impacted communities in development of tsunami rehabilitation plans that consider the sustainable use of fishery resources and alternative employment opportunities, as required by capacity-control plans;
  • Investigate the costs, constraints and benefits of a national vessel registration system to ensure that fishing capacity is monitored and controlled appropriately;
  • Based on available science, establish a ceiling on the overall number of vessels that can operate in each region, with maximum numbers set for each category of vessel based on their catching power.
  • Enforce, through fisheries co-management, the existing legislation which bans the introduction and use of certain types of fishing gear types.


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Source:WorldFish Center


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