An unlikely partnership

fishers’ participation in a small-scale fishery data collection program in the Timor Sea

James Prescott, James Riwu, Natasha Stacey, Andhika Prasetyo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Traditional fisheries stock assessment methods and fishery independent surveys are costly and time consuming exercises. However fishers trained in data collection and utilising other skills can reduce costs and improve fishery assessments and management. A data collection program was conducted by Australian and Indonesian scientists with small-scale Indonesian sea cucumber fishers to evaluate the approach and then capture its benefits. The data fishers recorded allowed for the first stock assessment of this trans-boundary fishery during its centuries-long existence at Scott Reef in north-western Australia. The program also included interviews with fishers capturing the social, economic, and demographic aspects of the fishery. Economic inputs to fishing were complemented by fishery revenue data voluntarily submitted when fishers returned to port and sold their catch. Catch data recorded by fishers demonstrated much higher abundances than estimates obtained using standard visual transect methods and accurately reflected the true catch composition. However, they also showed extreme rates of exploitation. Interviews revealed social and economic factors that would be important considerations if management interventions were made. The program’s approach and the time scientists spent on the fishers’ vessels were key ingredients to fishers’ participation and the utility of the results. Despite the program’s achievements the information generated has not led to improved management or had any direct benefits for the participants. Sustaining the program in the longer term requires that its value is better captured.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)679-692
    Number of pages14
    JournalReviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries
    Volume26
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

    Fingerprint

    fishery
    fisheries
    stock assessment
    economics
    fishery survey
    interviews
    catch composition
    catch statistics
    assessment method
    economic factors
    Holothuroidea
    fishing
    reef
    vessel
    Western Australia
    transect
    sea
    programme
    participation
    Timor Sea

    Cite this

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    abstract = "Traditional fisheries stock assessment methods and fishery independent surveys are costly and time consuming exercises. However fishers trained in data collection and utilising other skills can reduce costs and improve fishery assessments and management. A data collection program was conducted by Australian and Indonesian scientists with small-scale Indonesian sea cucumber fishers to evaluate the approach and then capture its benefits. The data fishers recorded allowed for the first stock assessment of this trans-boundary fishery during its centuries-long existence at Scott Reef in north-western Australia. The program also included interviews with fishers capturing the social, economic, and demographic aspects of the fishery. Economic inputs to fishing were complemented by fishery revenue data voluntarily submitted when fishers returned to port and sold their catch. Catch data recorded by fishers demonstrated much higher abundances than estimates obtained using standard visual transect methods and accurately reflected the true catch composition. However, they also showed extreme rates of exploitation. Interviews revealed social and economic factors that would be important considerations if management interventions were made. The program’s approach and the time scientists spent on the fishers’ vessels were key ingredients to fishers’ participation and the utility of the results. Despite the program’s achievements the information generated has not led to improved management or had any direct benefits for the participants. Sustaining the program in the longer term requires that its value is better captured.",
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    An unlikely partnership : fishers’ participation in a small-scale fishery data collection program in the Timor Sea. / Prescott, James; Riwu, James; Stacey, Natasha; Prasetyo, Andhika.

    In: Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, Vol. 26, No. 4, 01.12.2016, p. 679-692.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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