Thursday, 25 July 2013

Casting an eye over Indonesian fish catches

A new manual for identifying Indonesia’s bony fishes has just been published. It provides a valuable source of information for fishers and managers in the world's most species-rich marine area.

fish book cover
The publication is available at:
http://aciar.gov.au//MN155
Indonesia has the greatest marine biodiversity in the world, and controls more than 5.4 million square kilometres of marine waters. Perhaps not surprisingly, Indonesia’s fisheries are very large. Reported fisheries capture for Indonesia exceeded 5.3 million tonnes in 2010, compared with the equivalent Australian production of 173,000 tonnes.

woman selling fish at markets
Fish for sale at Indonesian market
(Photo A Rahmatullah)

Indonesian fishers use a variety of methods to catch bony fishes and generally keep the entire catch (both target and bycatch species). The variety of fishes caught is huge. Despite this, accurate data on the fish species exploited by fishers in the region are currently very limited. Yet the accurate identification of all fish species brought ashore is essential for effective fisheries management.

An ACIAR project to develop new assessment and policy frameworks for Indonesia’s marine fisheries has produced a field manual on bony fishes in the region: Market fishes of Indonesia (ACIAR Monograph No. 155). The publication is the result of a 10-year survey (2001-2011) of bony fish catches sighted at various markets within Indonesia’s most populous regions of Java, Bali and Lombok. A total of nine surveys at seven fish landing sites was completed, and an impressive reference collection of almost 3,000 species was established

The manual includes 124 families of bony fishes with accompanying line drawings for their identification, plus photographs and diagnostic characters of 873 species. Details for each species include key features to identify fish in the field, a relative index of abundance, a habitat description and their known geographic distribution. Separate indexes of scientific names, English common names and Indonesian local names are provided, as is a glossary.


The publication is a companion to another ACIAR manual: Economically important sharks and rays of Indonesia (ACIAR Monograph No. 124). Both are published in English and Indonesian. These manuals will enable fishers and marine managers to identify all the commonly seen market fishes of Indonesia. In so doing, they provide valuable tools to significantly improve fish data collection in the region. In turn, the data collected will help inform management of some of the world’s most significant fisheries, and help protect the biodiversity in these waters.


More information

Market fishes of Indonesia. ACIAR Monograph No. 155

Economically important sharks and rays of Indonesia. ACIAR Monograph No. 124

ACIAR project FIS/2006/142 Developing new assessment and policy frameworks for Indonesia's marine fisheries, including the control and management of Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing. The project’s final report is available.

By Dr Wendy Henderson, ACIAR's Science Communicator

1 comment:

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