Fish: A priority for WWF and local communities in Indonesia

Why are fish so important?
Fishing is the principal livelihood for over 200 million people around the world, but since the 1950s it has been estimated that over 75% of the marine fish stocks are now either fully exploited or overfished. WWF is working with more than 40 countries to end destructive fishing practices, to create and expand marine protected areas, reform national policies for managing fish and address the needs of those who depend on marine areas.

Success story
An Indonesian fishermen’s group, KOMUNTO, was awarded a 2010 United Nations Equator Prize in recognition of its outstanding community efforts to reduce poverty through the conservation of biodiversity. KOMUNTO, a community-based organization of representatives from fishermen groups, received $5,000 to continue its efforts managing natural resources and to improve the well-being of its members who rely on fish to make a living. KOMUNTO works with local communities to identify solutions to the challenges of reduced catch sizes, bleached coral reefs, instability in fish prices, and poor local government regulation.

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How did WWF contribute to this success?
KOMUNTO formed a partnership with WWF and The Nature Conservancy to assist in fishery and natural resource management and training for natural resource mapping to aid in village development plans. In addition, WWF helped train local conservation agents who now contribute to decision-making activities in their home villages.