Maratua Island

July 2002

Fish aggregation devices (FADs) to encourage sustainable fishing practices

Maratua Island is one of the six Berau Islands located on the eastern coastal shelf of Indonesian Borneo. One of the world’s only saltwater lakes is nestled in this region, and the white sand beaches of the Berau Islands are one of the largest green turtle nesting sites in Indonesia. Maratua Island itself consists of four fishing villages. These communities, as well as others in the area, depend heavily on marine resources for income and food. Destructive fishing techniques have resulted in overexploitation of several species.

Seacology is assisting a local organization, BESTARI, in its efforts to help fishermen become less dependent on reef resources by building fish aggregating devices (FADs). These simple devices attract pelagic fish species, and existing FADs have helped island residents make a living from fishing and have also diminished illegal and destructive techniques such as dynamite and cyanide fishing.

Project Updates
June 2008
Even though the original FADs were lost to foul weather in 2003, village conservation awareness of the coral reefs at both the Maratua and Derawan areas remains high. Since 2006, villagers have...
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July 2004
Five FADs were installed for three different villages. Unfortunately, three of the five FADs were lost in 2003 due to strong currents and broken anchoring ropes. The remaining two are still being...
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