Fins, gills and fishermen : The socio-economic impacts of marine conservation in southern Indonesia

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för geovetenskaper


Sharks and manta rays are being heavily fished in Indonesia due to Asian demand for shark fins and manta gill rakers. The Indonesian government passed legislation in February 2014 to protect the two species of manta rays. A number of shark species have also been protected or banned from export. A major factor in this decision was the proven economic benefits from ecotourism compared to the economic benefits from the shark finning and manta gill industry.However, previous research on marine conservation underlines that there is a lack of social scientific studies on the socio-economic impacts that marine conservation have on stakeholder fishing communities. In an attempt to start filling this gap of knowledge, the purpose of this thesis was to investigate how the shark and manta ray conservation efforts affect the socio-economic situation of different stakeholder fishing communities in Indonesia. Fieldwork was done in fishing communities in the Komodo and Nusa Penida regions, together with the fishing village Tanjung Luar in Lombok, where people in fishing communities were interviewed about their livelihood situation. The study found that the impacts of marine conservation on the economic situation for stakeholder fishermen affects their attitude towards and compliance with marine conservation efforts. If no profitable economic alternatives are given to fishing, fishing communities have a lower degree of compliance with conservation efforts.

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