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Suggested Citation :

Larsen SN, Leisher C, Mangubhai S, Muljadi A, Tapilatu RF. 2018. Fisher perceptions of threats and fisheries decline in the heart of the Coral Triangle . Ocean Life 2 : 41-46.


The Coral Triangle contains the most species-diverse coral reefs in the world, and at its center is the Raja Ampat archipelago in West Papua, Indonesia. The marine resources of Raja Ampat are an important source of food and livelihood for thousands of people, but overfishing and destructive fishing practices threaten its coral reefs and fisheries. To better understand the threats, we surveyed the ‘most knowledgeable fishers’ in all 88 of Raja Ampat’s coastal villages (n = 495) in 2003 – 2005. We analyzed the links between declines in fish catch and threats to marine resources as perceived by fishers. Blast fishing, cyanide fishing, and ‘outsiders’ were perceived to be the causes of the fish declines and the greatest ongoing threats to fisheries resources. We also found evidence of inter – generational differences in perceptions on the health of local fisheries. For fishers who had over 15 years of
fishing experience, 77% reported a decrease in fish catch. For fishers who had less than 5 years of experience, only 41% reported a decrease in catch. Education and outreach on illegal fishing practices and the benefits of healthy coral reef ecosystems are likely to be ongoing needs in communities in Raja Ampat.

Kafe Penyelaman

The founder is a marine biologist and a dive instructor. He experiences in marine conservation especially on bio-physic data collection such as reef health monitoring, fish spawning aggregation site survey, marine large fauna survey, occasional observation and marine resource utilization assessment. Also experience on training related scientific diving, bio-physic monitoring, geographic information system, data analyzing and reporting, marker buoys installation, underwater photography and coral rehabilitation, such in Weh island- Aceh, Mandeh waters - Padang, Riau islands and Belitung waters, in Sumatera region, Krakatoa Marine Sanctuary, Seribu islands National Park and Karimunjawa National Park in Jawa region, Derawan, Sangalaki and Kakaban islands, and Tanah Bumbu Regency in Kalimantan region, Wakatobi National Park, Gorontalo waters, Bunaken National Park and Lembeh strait in Sulawesi region, Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Komodo waters, Flores, Adonara, Lembata, Pantar, and Sawu Sea National Park in Lesser Sunda Region, Halmahera and Morotai waters in North Maluku region, Ambon waters, Lease islands and Banda islands in Maluku region, Kaimana, Raja Ampat waters and Teluk Cenderawasih National Park in West Papua region, Tioman Marine Park and Tun Sakaran Marine Park in Malaysia, Atauro island and Liquiça in Timor Leste, Phuket in Thailand, Kehpara Marine Sanctuary in Pohnpei, Micronesia, Gladden Spit Marine Sanctuary and Half Moon Cay Marine Park in Belize. Experience as a scuba diver instructor with more than 5000 dives and trained more than 200 advance and open water divers.