Friday, 7 June 2013

Australia Awards: Ensuring there are plenty more fish in the sea

Commemorating World Oceans Day tomorrow (8 June), we relay the story of an Australia Awards recipient and the work she has done to help alleviate pressure on global fish stocks.

Dr Lilis Sadiyah is an Australia Awards graduate working at the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of Republic Indonesia (MMAF-RI). She completed her PhD in 2011 at The University of Tasmania through the John Allwright Fellowship (JAF) program, which is administered by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) as part of the Australia Awards.

Australia Awards graduate Dr Lilis Sadiyah undertaking project work

Dr Sadiyah’s mathematical modelling research has the potential to better inform and improve Indonesia’s national fisheries management, helping to ensure the sustainability and optimal use of tuna stocks.

Her PhD involved analysing data from Indonesia’s tuna longline fleet, and developing a tuna-monitoring scheme that can pick up important changes in population distribution or reproduction rates. 

The modelling has the potential to assist the Indonesian government to officially report on its fishing activities to the international Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs). It also has the potential to help Indonesian fishers improve their catch efficiency and targeting practices, and so to fish more responsibly, to maintain sustainable yields.

Better practices and technologies should generate long-term rewards not only for Indonesia, but for Australia and other neighbours who share the tuna stocks.

Dr Sadiyah receiving a certificate for 'best scientific paper'
from the Indonesian Minister for Marine Affairs & Fisheries.
In 2011 Dr Sadiyah received a certificate from the Minister for Marine Affairs and Fisheries, as the inaugural winner of the best scientific paper within the Agency for Marine and Fisheries Research and Development. The paper was titled: "Developing Recommendations for Undertaking CPUE Standardisation Using Observer Program Data".

Dr Sadiyah currently works at Research Centre for Fisheries Management and Conservation (RCFMC) under the MMAF-RI. She has participated as a member of Indonesia’s delegations at the Scientific Committee meetings of the RFMOs.

(courtesy of the United Nations Food
and Agriculture Organization)
During 2011 and 2012, Dr Sadiyah was involved in the ACIAR project “Developing new assessment and policyframework for Indonesia's marine fisheries, including the control andmanagement of illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing”. More recently, she has been doing research on harvest strategies for the shrimp fisheries in the Arafura Sea.

In 2012, Dr Sadiyah was appointed as one of three Research Group Coordinators at RCFMC.

Dr Sadiyah found the Australia Awards JAF fellowship to be a great experience.

“The award not only gave opportunities for studying and doing research in the specific project area; it provided some workshop trainings to improve the ability of the students in scientific writing and English skills in the beginning of the first year of study,” she said.

In addition, the awards gave support for students to attend international workshops related to the project.

The JAF program is administered by ACIAR as part of the Australia Awards.

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