Cage farmers and fishers co-operate in West Java –

Cage farmers and fishers co-operate in West Java Published:  20 April, 2009

Stakeholder groups have made progress in the development and implementation of co-management strategies in the Jatilnuihur, Cirata and Saguling reservoirs of the Ciratum watershed in West Java. These strategies will ensure the long term sustainability of the cage culture activities and improve the livelihoods of capture fishers of the three reservoirs, which collectively account for the production of nearly 700,000 tonnes of food fish annually.

The strategies are being developed based on three years of scientific and socio-economic investigations funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) in a cooperative effort between NACA (Prof. Sena S De Silva) and the Directorate General of Aquaculture, Ministry of Ocean Affairs and Fisheries, Government of Indonesia.

They include the regular stocking of herbivorous/ominivorous fish, such as milkfish to enhance capture fishery yields and a reduction in the stocking density and a corresponding reduction in feeding to reduce eutrophication from cage farming activities. The former has already been put into practice and there had been a significant increase in catch per unit effort from 8.7 to 11.4 kg/ fisher/ day in the fisheries in 2008. Negotiations are ongoing with fishers and the dealers with regard to introducing a levy on the landings to sustain the stocking programme on a regular basis.

A number of farmer groups have also been formed and these will form the nuclei to test the effectiveness of adoption of co-management strategies aimed at reducing the nutrient loading and reducing the incidence of fish kills, which are a source of conflict between fishers and cage farmers. Co-management strategies will be monitored closely by the researchers with suitable modifications introduced and disseminated throughout the farming communities of the reservoirs.