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Thresher Shark Project Indonesia: The Conservation Champion Program

25 Aug 2020

Thresher Shark Project Indonesia: The Conservation Champion Program

Project leader: Ms. Dewi Ratna Sari

Level of education and university: Master, University of Queensland

Collaborating Organisations: -

Project Location: Nusa Tengara Timur

Activity Type: Training, workshop or seminar

Sector: Natural Resource Management, Aquaculture/fisheries

Project Rationale:

The conservation status of the pelagic thresher shark (Alopias pelagicus) has just been raised from Vulnerable (VU) to Endangered (EN) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), indicating continuous population decline worldwide and the need to increase conservation action. In Indonesia, thresher sharks are the most commonly landed species and caught as both targeted and bycatch within large-scale tuna industries and small-scale fisheries. The pelagic thresher shark has been identified as present within the waters of Alor Island, East Nusa Tenggara, but unfortunately is the target of local communities as a food source.

Our preliminary work in Alor has brought together multiple stakeholders to discuss the need for conserving endangered species, as well as addressing the livelihood conflicts with local communities. Local government officials have been working on the creation of the first regulation for thresher sharks, and need continuous awareness-raising programs and monitoring to ensure compliance as well as to change the perception of the communities about thresher shark conservation.

This project will run parallel with our ongoing conservation program, which is assisting the local government and local communities in developing the local regulation. Once the local regulation is established, the job of monitoring and conservation awareness will become a critical part of making sure that the thresher sharks are no longer a target, and communities follow a set of agreements in the regulation. The monitoring and conservation awareness program will be led independently by local youth leaders through this project to support that goal. This project will select 20 young people (aged 18-22) who are initially from the Alor region to conduct ecological and fisheries monitoring as well as conservation awareness programs in local schools and communities about thresher shark protection.

Project Beneficiaries:

20 Local Alor Youths, Thresher Shark Fisher communities, and Local Governments

Priority Development Area:

An inclusive society through effective governance

Link with Australian organisation: -

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