Silvofishery Training strengthens Essential Ecosystem Area Community Livelihood

01 February 2021 Participants learned environmentally friendly aquaculture techniques for raising fish, crab, and shrimp within the mangrove forest. Photo by ARuPA. Participants learned environmentally friendly aquaculture techniques for raising fish, crab, and shrimp within the mangrove forest. Photo by ARuPA.

By A. Rozik Fanani And Lionita

The Aliansi Relawan untuk Penyelamatan Alam (Volunteer Alliance for Nature Saving /ARuPA) and USAID BIJAK held a silvofishery training for community groups around the Teluk Pangpang bay area. This training aimed to enable the community to take advantage of the area’s potential, which has been designated as an Essential Ecosystem Area (KEE), while still respecting environmental sustainability.

"Apart from Banyuwangi, this training was attended by community groups at KEEs in the Gersik, Trenggalek, and Sumenep areas. We hope that this activity can increase the communities’ capacity around the KEE area in utilizing the KEE’s potential in a sustainable manner," said Edy Suprapto, the Director of ARuPA.

According to Edy, the majority of the KEEs in East Java are located within productive fishponds and cultivation areas. However, the utilization and development of aquaculture in the fishery sector (fish, crab, and shrimp) around the KEEs have not been optimally utilized.

"For example, in the KEE Teluk Pangpang, it is estimated that only 10-20% of pond farmers cultivate fish using the silvofishery method. Besides, there are many fish and shrimp ponds in mangrove areas located in KEE Masakambing and KEE Ujung Pangkah. At other locations, in KEE Taman Kili-Kili, we can encourage the potential fisheries there through innovations," he said.

Silvofishery itself is an integrated business concept between mangrove forests and aquaculture in ponds, which can be a prospective business alternative and is in line with blue economy principles. The main principle of the blue economy is achieving sustainable management of marine and fisheries resources.

"Among them include the concern for the environment (pro-environment) through its zero-waste management, ensure the sustainable use of marine and fishery resources and social inclusiveness in the use of resources. Also, the creation of various business innovation development (multi cash flow)," Edy added.

Silvofishery is expected to answer future challenges related to environmentally friendly and pro-conservation aquaculture management and to provide economic benefits for the communities around KEEs, so effective KEE management is achieved.

A series of KEE strengthening piloting activities to optimize the potential fisheries utilization in these KEEs that are organized by ARuPA and BIJAK has the full support of the Bayuwangi Regency Development Planning Board (BAPPEDA) and the East Java Office for Natural Resources Conservation (BBKSDA). Participants were provided with new knowledge in coastal green belt conservation, namely the mangrove-connected (fish)pond cultivation or Associated Mangrove Aquaculture.

"With this new approach, on one hand, we have the coastal and river belts are better protected by mangrove plants, and on the other hand, the (fish)ponds can help optimally improve the livelihood and income in the region," concluded Edy.

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