Promoting Responsible Fishing Practices in West Papua

West Papua

Indonesia does have abundant marine resources, one of which is in West Papua.

However, this does not mean that humans can exploit the sea through activities that can damage the environment, such as trawling or bombs.

There are more straightforward ways to catch fish.

Responsible and Traditional Fishing in West Papua

Destructive fishing activities carried out by unscrupulous members of the public generally use fish bombs and the use of toxic materials to catch fish.

The use of these materials causes damage to coral reefs and the surrounding ecosystem.

Improper or responsible fishing is not limited to illegal fishing. Various traditional methods are widely used by people in different coastal areas of Indonesia today.

One of them is the coastal community of Papua. This easternmost region of Indonesia has quite a variety of traditions regarding how to catch marine products.

Here’s how to see fish traditionally without using fish bombs in West Papua:

1. Balobe

This traditional way of catching fish comes from the habits of the people in Lopintol Village and Warsandim Village, West Papua.

Balobe is a tradition of looking for seafood at night when the moon is not visible. Balobe activities are usually after 22.00 at night, waiting for the seawater on the coast to recede.

Regarding tools, they use wooden spears called kalawai. However, at the end of the kalawai, a sharp three-edged iron is installed.

The fishermen only rely on their instincts in reading natural conditions. Usually, they use lighting from petromax lamps.

Even though the moon was dark, according to them, this was a sign that the fish crowds would not expand far.

They also believe fish have limited vision, so they move slower. Usually, they get fish, lobster prawns, sea cucumbers, and octopus.

2. Molo

How to catch fish with this method is by diving. Usually, primarily children who do this activity. However, sometimes adults also do it with simple tools.

The tool in question consists of simple swimming goggles. Other than that, there are also wooden arrows and throwing bullets made of sharpened wire ends. Local people named the tool Jubi.

Interestingly, this technique of catching marine products has existed since ancient times.

Everyone in West Papua has a different ability to do molo or dive. The fishermen usually spend about 2-3 hours doing this activity.

3. Bameti

In contrast to balobe, bameti is more about collecting marine products when the sea water is receding. At the same time, the implementation is usually at night or during the day.

The main targets for collecting marine products in West Papua are usually in coastal areas,

Which are sloping and indented so that you will see small pools and rocks when receding. Regarding tools, Bameti only uses a shell pick and a catcher’s basin.

Interestingly, it’s not only fishermen who carry out bameti activities. Families also often do it to fill their free time during recreation.

Few took advantage of this activity as a venue for meetings with other families in the same village.

Apart from fish, the catches from Bameti activities usually consist of shrimp, lobster, sea scallops, and oysters.

Community participation in West Papua is needed to eradicate destructive fishing actors jointly.

Communities can observe or monitor fishing activities and environmental utilization in their area. One of them can be through Papuan traditional fishing.

For information, if unscrupulous members of the public carry out destructive fishing activities, they can be jailed for a maximum of 5 years or a maximum fine of Rp. 2 billion.