JAKARTA — Indonesia is assessing commercially valuable fish populations throughout its waters in a bid to improve the sustainable management of one of the world’s biggest fisheries. The country’s fisheries ministry is carrying out evaluations of population health in the archipelago’s 11 fishing zones. The findings are expected to help policymakers identify areas with fish populations that are either healthy, recovering, or overfished. Indonesia is the second-biggest marine capture producer, after China, harvesting 84.4 million metric tons of seafood in 2018, according to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The country’s waters support some of the highest levels of marine biodiversity in the world, and the fisheries industry employs about 12 million Indonesians. “This assessment is a very crucial first step to make many following decisions,” Annastasia Rita Tisiana, an official with the ministry’s implementation working unit, said in a July 27 webinar. Indonesian fishing zones. Image courtesy of the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries. Indonesia is a top marine capture producer in the world. Image courtesy of the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries. Annastasia said the fish stock health analysis would help the ministry decide fishing zones allowed for large-scale and traditional fishing, and which areas to protect for conservation due to overfishing. She added the data would determine harvest quotas for each type of fish, the number of boats and the kinds of gear allowed to operate in each fishing zone. Annastasia said her team had been collecting and verifying data for the…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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