Final report: SRA Small-scale fisheries in Indonesia: benefits to households, the roles of women, and opportunities for improving livelihoods

Neil Loneragan, Natasha Stacey

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


The overall aims of this project were to review information and methodologies for evaluating the contribution of small-scale fisheries and aquaculture (SSF) to household livelihoods in coastal communities of Indonesia and to review the roles of women in SSF. It has investigated cases where attempts have been made to enhance the livelihoods of SSF communities by strengthening or diversifying existing livelihoods or introducing alternative ones. The effectiveness of initiatives to enhance SSF livelihoods and their impact on women were evaluated.
The approach to the research was to complete an extensive literature review and evaluate the findings from 20 past studies (published and unpublished literature and livelihood project reports) in coastal communities to:
Develop an understanding of the significance of SSF in Indonesia and women’s roles in these fisheries;
Describe success factors in developing enhanced coastal livelihoods of SSF communities through mechanisms to strengthen, diversify or find alternative livelihood options;
Identify lessons from examples where attempts have been made to strengthen, diversify or develop alternative livelihoods for small-scale fishing communities in Indonesia and
Document knowledge gaps and future research needs.
The 20 case studies covered a range of government (e.g. European Union, Indonesian and Australian) and non-government initiatives. The study was completed through desk-top studies and three workshops to document, discuss and progress our findings. The first workshop was held on Bali and involved site visits to three main locations: Perancak on the north-west coast where commercial sardine fishing, SSF and turtle conservation are practised; Lovina where dolphin tourism and SSF operate; and Les where LINI, a non-government organisation is working with local communities to develop potential aquaculture of aquarium fish and artificial reefs for a possible dive trail. The second workshop was in Darwin, immediately following the symposium on “Contemporary Perspectives on Coastal Livelihoods in the Arafura and Timor Seas regions” at Charles Darwin University (May 2016) and the third workshop was held on Lombok (November 2016), focussing on a working group analysis and evaluation of the 20 livelihood projects implemented in Indonesia over the last two decades. A selection of six of the presentations from the Symposium in Darwin, four involving participants from this ACIAR project, have been published in a ‘Special Features’ section of the journal Marine Policy, volume 82.
The literature review was revealing and highlighted that few data are gathered by government or researchers that allow the gender roles and the contribution of women’s fishing to household livelihood outcomes and wellbeing to be investigated. It also provided the focus and direction for developing a template to summarise livelihood projects implemented in Indonesia to readily make comparisons across studies in the evaluation carried out during the third project workshop. This helped highlight common findings and effectively identify research gaps. These projects covered a wide suite of livelihood diversification initiatives, geographic scales and different types and levels of funding, ranging from small-scale in local communities facilitated by local (e.g. Communities and Fisheries of Indonesia (Masyarakat Dan Perikanan Indonesia – MDPI), Indonesia Locally Managed Marine Areas Program) and international NGOs (e.g., Oxfam, Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy), Indonesian government and other governments through aid programs (e.g. AusAID/DFAT) to large, regional initiatives such as those implemented by aid organisations including the FAO, the World Bank, UNDP, IFAD, and Asian Development Bank.
Following the literature review and the evaluation of 20 current and past projects in Indonesia, we identified several recommendations for further research, capacity building and livelihood development to support small-scale fisheries, gender and coastal livelihoods in Indonesia.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCanberra
PublisherAustralian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
Commissioning bodyAustralian Centre for International Agricultural Research
Number of pages210
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-925746-19-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-925746-19-8
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2018


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