Managing mudcrab stocks in a Coastal Conservation area in Indonesia

Yayasan WWF Indonesia and Indonesian Mud Crab Fishery Kei Kecil Island, Maluku

Amount awarded: £50,000

This project will help mudcrab fishers from Evu village on Kei Kecil Island, Indonesia, to develop strategies to help them manage their stocks sustainably.

The fishery is based within a Coastal Conservation Area around the island in Maluku province. Approximately 12 mudcrab fishers from Evu village have formed a community group and target the crabs using pots made from locally-sourced bamboo.

The mudcrab fishery is in a fishery improvement project (FIP) which is being implemented by Yayasan WWF Indonesia. The mud crab fishery also received support through the Fish for Good program; a four- year project funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery. Fish for Good supported more than 25 fisheries across Indonesia, South Africa and Mexico in improving their fishing practices towards sustainability.

The fishery was also verified through the In-Transition to MSC program in 2021, making it eligible for our Transition Assistance Fund. It aims to make the improvements needed to meet the MSC Fisheries Standard and enter assessment by the end of 2023.

What the project will do

This Ocean Stewardship Funded project will help improve understanding of the mudcrab stock and its distribution across the region. This will include collecting more data, including genetic tests to accurately identify different species of crab.

The project will also support the development of harvest strategies to ensure the mudcrabs are only being targeted at sustainable levels. Harvest strategies will also make sure that mechanisms are in place to reduce or put a stop to catches if the population size falls below a specific, pre-determined point.

A key part of this project will be to bring the local fishing community together to develop a monitoring system to make sure good fisheries management processes are being followed. This includes making sure undersized crabs are not being targeted and that harvest strategies are being applied.

A sustainable ocean ensures food security and livelihoods. This funding will significantly contribute to finalising the fishery improvement project in the mud-crab fishery in Kei Kecil Island. It is a sustainable livelihood initiative for small scale fisheries in this critical habitat.

Dr. Imam Musthofa Zainudin, Head of Marine and Fisheries Yayasan WWF Indonesia

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