Ecology and Society;
The small-fisheries social-ecological system in the western Indian Ocean (WIO) represents a typical social-ecologicaltrap setting where very poor natural resources dependent coastal communities face local and global threats and engage in unsustainable practices of exploiting limited resources. Community-based aquaculture (CBA) has been implemented as an important alternative or supplementary income generating activity for minimizing the overdependence on marine natural resources and promoting biodiversity conservation. Despite its proliferation throughout the WIO region in recent decades, little is known about the degree to which CBA activities have contributed to achieving the objectives of breaking the cycle of poverty and environmental degradation and promoting community development and biodiversity conservation. In order to improve understanding of common challenges and to generate recommendations for best practice, we assessed the most common CBA activities practiced in the region through literature review and workshop discussion involving practitioners and key stakeholders. Findings indicated that despite favorable environmental conditions for various CBA practices, the sector remains underdeveloped, with few activities delivering the intended benefits for coastal livelihoods or conservation. Constraints included a shortage of seed and feed supplies, low investment, limited technical capacity and skills,insufficient political support, and lack of a clear strategy for aquaculture development. These are compounded by a lack of engagement of local stakeholders, with decision making often dominated by donors, development agencies, and private sector partners. Many of the region's CBA projects are designed along unrealistically short time frames, driven by donors rather than entrepreneurs, and so are unable to achieve financial sustainability, which limits the opportunity for capacity building and longer-term development. There is little or no monitoring on ecological and socioeconomic impacts. Except for a few isolated cases, links between CBA and marine conservation outcomes have rarely been demonstrated. Realizing the potential of CBA in contributing toward food security in the WIO will necessitate concerted investment and capacity strengthening to overcome these systemic challenges in the sector. Lessons herein offer managers, scientists, and policy advisors guidance on addressing the challenges faced in building strategic development initiatives around aquaculture in developing countries.
Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society (CAPS);
A small but influential local NGO based in Indonesia is helping nations across the Indo-Pacific Ocean implement programs to promote the sustainable use and aquatic wonder of their coastlines.
The Coral Triangle Center (CTC), a local NGO headquartered on the Indonesian resort island of Bali is at the forefront of a major international movement to protect coral reefs and fish from destruction or extinction.
The NGO's name comes from the roughly triangular shape of a 5.7 million square kilometer area of the Indo-Pacific Ocean formed by the coastlines of six countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor Leste. The nations are scrambling to regulate the use of coastal waters and teach the 120 million people who depend on them for their livelihoods and the millions more who come as tourists how to protect ecosystems that are under siege from many threats. Since its founding in 2011, the CTC has been a leader in a campaign marked by growing urgency over the sustainable use of marine resources.