Fisheries Management Area Research: The Socio-Economic Impact of Mini Trawl Operations on Mantis Shrimp Fishers in Kuala Tungkal

Fisheries Management Area Research: The Socio-Economic Impact of Mini Trawl Operations on Mantis Shrimp Fishers in Kuala Tungkal

Kuala Tungkal is the capital city of West Tanjung Jabung Regency on the east coast of central Sumatra and lies within Indonesia’s Fisheries Management Area (FMA) 711. The majority of people in this coastal city make their living fishing, and the endemic mantis shrimp is their main source of income. Lisna’s research, entitled “The Socio-Economic Impact of Mini Trawl Operations on Mantis Shrimp (Harpiosquilla Rapidhea) Fishers in Kuala Tungkal,” examines the social and economic impacts of illegal trawl fishing on traditional mantis shrimp fishers. 

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Mantis Shrimp (Harpiosquilla Rapidhea). Photo courtesy of Lisna


The Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) prohibited trawl fishing within the FMAs with the Permen KP/No. 2  regulation in 2015, and expanded controls with Permen-KP/No. 71 in 2016, but trawl nets are still being dragged across the ocean floor, which threatens the resilience of the entire marine ecosystem. Mantis shrimp have come to represent the rich potential of marine life in Jambi Province, but if they are overexploited and their habitat damaged, the result could be extinction and loss of livelihoods for the fishers of Kuala Tungkal. 

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Conducting a survey with a fisherman in Kuala Tungkal. Photo courtesy of Lisna


Lisna’s research in the area found the mantis shrimp population in decline, indicating that the ecosystem has been degraded by trawl nets and the shrimp are not recovering. She also found that conflict between trawl and traditional fishers was increasing as traditional fishers grew restless over their economic losses and blamed the trawl fishers. She concluded that the trawl ban must be enforced or risk further harm to the marine ecosystem, the endemic mantis shrimp population, and the fishery which plays a vital part in the economy of Jambi Province. 

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Lisna and her team with Sopian Hidayat (CSF-Indonesia) and members of Jambi Province Marine Affairs and Fishery Institution. Photo courtesy of Hasanul Adha Fauzi


Last month, Lisna presented her research to the Marine Affairs and Fishery Institution of Jambi and explained the economic losses faced by traditional mantis shrimp fishers and the social conflicts between stakeholders in the Kuala Tungkal fishery. Her findings are relevant to the provincial government’s ongoing efforts to evaluate their fishery regulations, especially in the enforcement of illegal fishing. Roughly two hundred people attended the presentation and were keen to discuss how these findings could be used to formulate enforcement strategies to ensure the economic and ecological health of the fishery. We hope this work will contribute to the sustainable management of the Kuala Tungkal fishery, and to the Sustainable Development Goals Indonesia has set for its FMA network. 


Our FMA researchers will disseminate their work throughout 2020, and CSF-Indonesia will continue this collaborative research program into 2021 with additional FMAs. This work is made possible by the generous support of Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.