When asked to think about the ocean, most would picture a beautiful, colorful coral reef like how the movie Finding Nemo portrayed this ecosystem. But in reality, most coral reefs do not look like that anymore. After decades of human society being unsustainable, this incredible ecosystem is beginning to disappear. Destructive fishing is one of many factors that contributes to this horrendous event.
The coral reef ecosystem isn’t just a pretty site; it is the most productive marine ecosystem in costal waters. But due to poor fishing practices, such as coral mining, over fishing, and settlement pollution, the coral reefs are being depleted of its resources. It is a necessity that there has to be coral reef management.
A study at Padaido Marine Tourism Park in West Papua province tried to find alternatives to such destructive fishing methods, mainly bombing, due to unsustainability. An analytical hierarchy was used to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy fishing practices. The criteria included: high selectivity, non-destructive to habitat, not harmful for operators, the product is harmless for consumers, minimum discard, minimum impact to biodiversity, not catching endangered species, socially accepted, the target species is still under total allowable catch, profitable, low investment, low energy consumption, and legal. Using these criteria, this study was able to conclude that out of seven commonly used fishing methods by the local fishers, there are three sustainable fishing technologies: (1) pancing cumi-cumi (squid jig, for squid fishing), (2) pancing tonda (troll line, for mackerel and tuna fishing), and (3) pancing dasar (hand line) for demersal fishes.
With these results, the sustainable methods can be further developed to become more efficient as the destructive practices can be put to an end to help the coral reef ecosystem strive.
-by Jaina Jiz de Ortega
Supriharyono, (2003). CORAL REEF MANAGEMENT IN PADAIDO MARINE TOURISM PARK, BIAK NUMFOR Case Study for The Alternative Solution to Destructive Fishing Practices on Coral Reefs. Journal of Marine Science: Research & Development. 6(3):153-161.