SEA DELIGHT FIPA GOES “OVERBOARD” FOR IMPROVING FISHERIES

Sea Delight Fishery Improvement Project Associate (FIPA), Ms. Petronella “Mea” Padja has had a very busy year 2013 and is planning for an even more busy 2014.

Coordinating fishery data collection, joining community sustainability awareness workshops, testing new anti-IUU surveillance equipment in the Luwuk Banggai Bottomfish Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) as well as conducting best onboard tuna handling education in the Southeast Java Handline Tuna FIP just wasn’t enough to do for this hard-charging eco-warrior.

On Oct. 17, 2013, Ms. Mea joined the crew of a local tuna buyer’s collection vessel and traveled from Kupang to the remote Alor Island group and an emerging tuna fishery based in Kabir Village, Alor.

In the waters off Kabir she conducted trials on onboard biological data collection methods and took videos for a Sea Delight online video production. She also travelled aboard one of small tuna fishing skiffs and, much to the surprise of the captain, leapt overboard to record live video footage of yellowfin tuna on the line.

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Ms. Petronella “Mea” Padja (R) collecting length and maturity data onboard the carrier vessel

Much of the video footage Ms. Mea took was used for the Sea Delight online video presentation, “Sea Delight Responsible Fisheries at Alor Island Indonesia”. See the link below to view the entire video.

Actual still from footage shot by the “overboard” FIPA

Actual still from footage shot by the “overboard” FIPA

Ms. Mea also found time to travel to Makassar, South Sulawesi, to attend the Dec. 19 to 20 Reef Fish Management Workshop, Sponsored by the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries and WWF Indonesia. There she represented Sea Delight by presenting a report on the Sea Delight Luwuk/Banggai FIP, including details of the 3 years of catch data collection already completed there.

Ms. Mea presenting report to the Reef Fish Management Workshop

Ms. Mea presenting report to the Reef Fish Management Workshop

2014 promises to be a busy year as well with many important milestones to meet in the updated Work Plans for both Indonesia FIPs (see link in Sea Delight Website Title?). It is almost certain Ms. Mea will be going overboard again in 2014. This time she will be conducting “reef check” surveys of the coral reefs of the Luwuk/Banggai fisheries. Part of the process includes a volunteer being towed behind a motorboat on a device called a “manta board” in order to observe the reef. You can bet our FIPA will be there.