Illegal Fishing Threatens Marine Ecosystem [part 3]

Coral Reefs (Sources: Wikipedia)

If there is no significant action to ban destructive fishing practice across Spermonde, the continuation of the coral reef destruction could be as serious as deforestation, which had been discussed at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali. The level of coral reef degradation from 10 percent to 50 percent is an indication of the severity of the crisis.

If there is no significant effort from government and nongovernmental organizations to deal with the problem, we will lose our priceless marine resources and ecosystem forever. There is a lack of pressure on or criticism of the existing law enforcement systems in South Sulawesi and Sulawesi Barat waters.

Many of those who use destructive fishing practices could not put on trial due to a lack of evidence. This is a big challenge to the Indonesian court as reported by a local NGO in Makassar. There are many records of fatalities caused by bombs. For instance, in 2001, 3 fishermen were killed in Papandangan Island. In 2002, a fisherman was also killed while dynamite fishing. Intercommunity conflicts arise day by day. Horizontal conflicts between Papandangan Island fishermen and other illegal fishermen accompanied by police officers occur due to conflict of interest for fishing ground occupation.

A lack of commitment from the legal authorities is the major reason why destructive fishing practices continue across Spermonde.

Amid the grieve situation, however, there are self-help groups seeking to improve the situation in Spermonde. These groups actively seek information about the impacts of destructive fishing methods on coastal reefs.

They also learn alternative methods, such as environmental-friendly seaweed culture and sea-ranch culture practices. The self-help groups face great challenges because they are pressured by local fishermen, who use bombs and are mostly supported by local law enforcement officers. At least, a small initiative has begun.


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