MFP Stories from the field: Small-scale fisheries on Mapur Island

MFP Stories from the field: Small-scale fisheries on Mapur Island

Editor's note: Over the next few days, we will be sharing stories from our 2019-20 Marine Fellows. Our first story of a fish stock assessment trip to Mapur Island comes from Adrian Damora who is working to achieve ecologically and economically sustainable fisheries management in Bintan Regency. Read on and stay tuned for more stories from the field! 

Marine Fellow: Adrian Damora

MFP Project Title: Spatial bioeconomics of small-scale demersal fisheries in the Regional Marine Conservation Areas in Bintan regency.

When I was selected as one of CSF’s Marine Fellows, I knew that this would be an opportunity for me to help a lot of people with my research. As I live in a maritime country, it is always special to visit one of our many beautiful islands, and conducting research on Mapur Island in Bintan Regency was an amazing experience.

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Enumerators on the boat. Photo credit: Adrian Damora

To reach Mapur Island, we took a boat from Kijang Port where we all met Mr. Daud, a longline fisherman from Kelong island. Mr. Daud is quite knowledgeable about the condition of the Mapur Island waters due to his experience fishing in the area. He usually fishes in Mapur island on two to five-day trips, depending on the weather and amount of catch.

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Mr. Daud and his catch in the waters of Mapur Island. Photo credit: Adrian Damora

After a short discussion on sampling plans, we headed to Mr. Daud’s house to pack our tools and equipment. Once prepared, we set off on the three-hour boat journey to Mapur Island.  Unfortunately for us (the enumerator team), the waves were quite strong, leading to upset stomachs. Finally, the roller coaster came to an end and we arrived. After resting for a bit, we headed back to where Mr. Daud and his longline caught our dinner. We cooked and ate the fish and spent our first night on the boat, illuminated by the stars above. 

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Dinner on the boat. Photo credit: Adrian Damora

The next day we conducted fish stock sampling for the coral ecosystem that is supporting the local fishermen, in the popular fishing spots in Mapur Island’s waters. We were surprised to see Mr. Daud and other fishers using GPS for navigation and fish finders for locating stocks. We learned that fishers in Bintan are already using technology to improve their catch. After we finished sampling, we returned to Mapur Island for one more night before returning to Kijang Port.  

This Marine Fellowship Program is made possible with generous support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.