Minimizing Fishing Net Defect to Save Turtles in Paloh
Translated by Evert W Fanggidae
The coastline, from Tanjung Belimbing to Datu of Paloh Subdistrict, has been the feeding and nesting spot for turtles. However, the, approximately, 63 km coastline is also a fishing area. Thus, there is a big possibility for a bycatch to take place. The condition is worsened by the fact that most of the fishermen use a gillnet, a 1000-meter-long net with 5 to 8-inch hook, to support their fishing activities.
Mr. Pandi, a local fisherman, told us that, at least, a turtle is caught in every fishing activity using gillnet. The fisherman also shared his concern on the effect of the bycatch to the net. He said that it takes quite a time just to mend the net. He also explained that to set free one bycatch turtle, the fishermen need at least one hour to fix their net because they need to be cut the net to free the bycatch turtle. How if there are more bycatch turtles in a net?
To support Government Regulations No.7 / 1999, WWF-Indonesia along with the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Sambas Marine and Fisheries Offices together with two local fishermen, Mr. Pendi and Pak Werdi, have been conducting an experiment of using a green LED lamp. This experiment is meant to minimize the number of bycatch, consequently the number of damaged nets.The experiment is scheduled to finish at the end of this year.
From the 4-year-positif-result of the experiment, a scientific publication is set to publish and hoped to become a foundation to technological based fisheries in Indonesia. This fisheries method is targeted to be adopted district and nation-wide. More, this method prepared as a technological option to counter the high-bycatch frequency of Paloh water.