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The challenge

Difficulty in tracking illegal fishing

Detection of illegal fishing activities, along with the efficient allocation of surveillance and enforcement assets to priority cases, are major challenges for Indonesia’s efforts to improve its fisheries management. This has significant economic and sustainability impacts.

Blast fishing is an illegal fishing method to harvest and stun fish

Monitoring illegal fishing activity can be extremely difficult. Indonesia has roughly half a million fishing vessels, making tracking individual vessels using technologies like GPS very challenging. Similarly, with one of the world’s largest fishing zones, the cost of commercially available satellite imagery is prohibitive

Our response

Effective surveillance and training tools

We are partnering with the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries and its NGO partners to address two key areas of illegal fishing management:

  • improving the use of existing data for fisheries monitoring and surveillance
  • identifying and implementing new low-cost data sources appropriate for Indonesian use

The project involves developing surveillance tools such as the use of hydrophones, vessel monitoring systems and vessel satellite tracking; and applying statistical tools to analyse the extensive range of data efficiently and quickly.

In addition, we are working closely with our Indonesian partners to provide formal training opportunities to expand on the skills of frontline surveillance personnel, technical staff at Indonesia’s national satellite data centre (Institute of Marine Research and Observation), and supporting technical staff. This includes training workshops, staff exchanges and internships between CSIRO and our Indonesian partners.

The results

Combating illegal fishing in Indonesian waters

Our collaboration with the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries is delivering improved tools for analysis of vessel behaviour and activity patterns that will:

  • strengthen Indonesia’s maritime awareness
  • help combat international maritime crimes
  • improve Indonesia’s capacity to manage its maritime resources and environment
  • improve capacity building through training and workshops

A software package is helping identify vessels engaging in IUU activity, and through capacity building, our Indonesian partners are increasing skills in data handling and management, statistical analysis, remote sensing, software and electrical engineering, and modelling of human behaviour.

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