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There’s nothing wrong with eating sustainable seafood. Unsustainable fishing practices—including overfishing and dynamite fishing—can lead to the collapses of fish stocks, and, in some cases, of entire marine ecosystems.
But expanding markets, new technologies, and increased accuracy in finding fish have combined to cause overfishing.
Ensuring fish for future generations is a complex task requiring a broad range of solutions—solutions that consider entire ecosystems and that contribute to the sustainable development of local communities.
The marine ecosystem-based strategies The Nature Conservancy and partners are using to reduce overfishing and make fishing sustainable again include: • Establishing networks of marine protected areas that serve as refuge for species and protect critical habitats—such as important fish spawning areas—so that fish stocks can recover. • Restoring important habitats such as oyster reefs and clam beds that not only provide shellfish harvests to people but also improve water quality and form important habitats for fish and other marine creatures. • Partnering with fishers to improve our understanding of the connections between species and ecosystems, so that licensing, regulations, and fishing gear can be refined to minimize the damage to our oceans. • Reducing the number of boats and fishing quotas for specific species in agreement with local communities and fishers. • Helping give local communities more say and control over their marine resources so that people can manage fish stocks for their children. • Putting in place economic policies and instruments that reward fishers for reducing fleet sizes and discarding damaging gear.
The TNC Indonesia Fisheries Program aims to promote and support the introduction of rights-based management (RBM) in small-scale near-shore fisheries in Indonesia. The program will therefore include specific components including fisheries resources mapping and site selection for pilot projects, policy reform to enable RBM in Indonesia, development of networks of territorial user rights fisheries (TURFs) and no-take reserves in selected fisheries management areas at pilot sites, and introduction of data-poor stock assessment methods to enable establishment of harvest control rules for pilot TURFs. Working with medium scale fisheries, the program will form partnerships with fishers and fish trading companies to apply new technology for data sharing and stock assessment, to improve product traceability and sustainability of the fisheries.