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Keywords:

  • fisheries management;
  • Indonesia;
  • Maximum Sustainable Yield;
  • overexploitation;
  • policy

Abstract  Management of Indonesia's marine capture fisheries faces a huge dilemma: evidence suggests that most, if not all, of Indonesia's capture fisheries are fully or overexploited, but the fishery sector is still expected to contribute to the increase of Indonesia's gross national product (GNP) through an increase in total catches. Furthermore, the current practice of using catch-effort data and Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) models to inform Indonesia's fisheries policies is flawed, putting sustainability and long-term profitability of Indonesia's fisheries at risk. It is argued that the following shift in capture fisheries management policy must be achieved to ensure the survival of Indonesia's fish stocks and fisheries:

1 a shift in fisheries policy from development-oriented management towards management for sustainability;

2 acceptance by fisheries managers that ‘untapped resources’ may not exist or cannot be exploited profitably;

3 acceptance by fisheries managers that any transfer of fishing effort between fishing grounds may contribute to collapse of local fisheries;

4 a shift in fisheries management from MSY models to eco-system based management, wherein Marine Protected Areas should play an important role.