Selected Publications

Small-scale capture fisheries have a very important place globally, but unfortunately are still mostly unregulated. Typically, they are defined based on capture fisheries characteristics, technical attributes of fishing vessels, and socio-economic attributes of fishers. Indonesia uses the term ‘small-scale fisher’ (nelayan kecil), currently defined to include fishing boats of <10 gross tons (GT), which previously covered only boats of <5 GT. Because small-scale fishers are by law granted a privilege by government to be exempted from fisheries management measures (e.g. fisheries licensing system), its current definition jeopardizes fisheries sustainability and significantly increases the size of unregulated and unreported fisheries. It is also unfair, as it legitimizes the payment of government support to relatively well-off fishers. This paper aims to develop a functional definition of small-scale fisheries (perikanan skala kecil) to guide policy implementation to improve capture fisheries management in Indonesia. A definition of small-scale fisheries is proposed as a fisheries operation, managed at the household level, fishing with or without a fishing boat of <5 GT, and using fishing gear that is operated by manpower alone. This definition combines attributes of the fishing vessel (GT), the fishing gear (mechanization), and the unit of business decision making (household) to minimize unregulated and unreported fishing and focus government aid on people who are truly poor and vulnerable to social and economic shocks. The terms small-scale fisheries and small-scale fishers must be legally differentiated as the former relates to fisheries management and the latter relates to empowerment of marginalized fishers.
In Marine Policy, 2018

The cost, complexity and the lack of technical capacity in many countries have made the scientific assessment and sustainable management of data- poor fisheries a per- sistent problem. New and innovative approaches are needed to stop the ongoing decline of data- poor fisheries and loss of coastal biodiversity they are driving. In re- cent decades, marine protected areas have become the most preferred form of man- agement for study and have been widely implemented as broadly applicable powerful management tools for data- poor fisheries, but although clearly capable of building biomass within sanctuaries, their effectiveness for sustaining fisheries is proving more difficult to substantiate. This study suggests the new approach needed is actu- ally a return to the established basics of managing size selectivity. Previous studies have established the wisdom of managing size selectivity and fishing pressure to catch fish above the size or age of maturity, but their prescriptions are difficult to implement without age studies, or the capacity for controlling catches and fishing pressure. This study develops an easily implementable rule of thumb based simply on multiples of size of maturity and quantifies its benefit where controlling fishing pres- sure is not yet possible. Our study provides a timely reminder that even if used alone, size selectivity, the oldest form of management, still produces pretty good sustaina- ble yields. We suggest our rule of thumb can be used to prevent data- poor fisheries declining while capacity for more complex forms of assessment and management are developed.
In Fish & Fish., 2018