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Samudra: Their decision, not ours

Samudra: Their decision, not ours

An article has been published in Samudra, the triannual journal of the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF), celebrating the achievements of the Darawa community in Indonesia, who successfully reopened their first temporary octopus fishery closure in 2018 and have since taken a community-led approach to managing their octopus fisheries.

The Darawa community, located in Wakatobi National Park, Southeast Sulawesi, have been working with Forum Kahedupa Toudani (FORKANI) since 2017, one of Blue Ventures’ partners in Indonesia, to construct contextually and culturally relevant ways to sustainably maintain their natural marine resources. For many years, the community has relied primarily on octopus fisheries and seaweed farming for their livelihoods.

Temporary fishery closures allow octopus to increase in size and reproduce at a more rapid rate, resulting in improved catches and more stable incomes for the fishers upon reopening. This management method has been incredibly successful throughout the Western Indian Ocean, including in Andavadoaka in Madagascar, in Quirimbas National Park in Mozambique, and Moheli National Park in the Comoros.

The Darawa community’s first temporary closure area, Fulua Nto’oge, was successful in strengthening community cohesion, both within Darawa village, as well as with neighbouring villages, the Wakatobi National Park authorities, the government and with community based organisations (CBOs) like FORKANI.

FORKANI works to encourage communities like Darawa in Indonesia to start to manage their own natural resources through participatory approaches and supporting community-led decision-making. Their data feedback sessions prove particularly inspiring, igniting curiosity amongst fishers and sparking dynamic community meetings about how to begin managing their fisheries. 

Following a period of monitoring and constructive data feedback sessions, the Darawa Island community decided to implement a temporary octopus fishery closure, and have since organised three more temporary closures. By facilitating a community-based approach, FORKANI have enabled the Darawa community to regain control over their natural resources and join forces with all of the relevant stakeholders in the area to begin to rebuild their fisheries in a collaborative and sustainable way.

Find out more about the fisheries management milestone for the Darawa community.


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