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Support Small-Scale Fisheries

Status: Ongoing, since Sept. 22

Since the Indonesian government has banned foreign fishing vessels (KIA) from fishing in national waters, the fishing fleet has immediately undergone significant changes. In the past, local fishing vessels were dominated by large-weight foreign vessels, but since the legislation came into action in late 2014, the size of fishing vessels are predominantly under 10 gross tons (GT).


Small-Scale Fishery Vessel

This project will help the small-scale fishers in Mawali, and Batu Lubang connect to AP2HI members, an association that promotes and supports sustainability fisheries . Manangkel has formed direct partnerships with long-standing and sustainable Indonesian pole, line and hand-line tuna suppliers. This will help small scale tuna fishers in the project to meet all the sustainable tuna requirements, reduce inefficiencies in supply chains to bring more value to fishers, and promote domestic markets that value responsibly caught products (e.g., fish capture, handling, processing, marketing)

Alternative Livlihood Program

Fisheries are a crucial sector in Indonesian society, particularly for coastal communities whose livelihoods depend on the fishing industry. However, the potential of Indonesia's vast fishery resources has not translated equally into improved welfare conditions for the fishing community. Many local fishermen remain vulnerable and face challenges in sustaining their livelihoods. The island of Lembeh is one such community that has witnessed environmental changes and struggles to adapt to new fishing practices. 

Manengkal Solidaritas has established the alternate LIVLIHOOD program in the villages Mawali and Batu Lubang, on Lembeh Island. The program is aimed at improving the knowledge, capacity and skills of the local fishermen whilst empowering coastal women by diversifying their economic and social roles within the community.  

The Fisherman of Lembeh Island

When foreign fishing vessels were banned from catching fish in national waters, Lembeh Island's fishermen had to adapt to the changing environment. However, their lack of knowledge and understanding of sustainable practices resulted in increased pressure on coastal ecosystems.  

Through the program, the fishermen have undergone training to enhance their fishing techniques, maintain the quality of their catch, and release non-target species such as turtles and sharks to protect marine biodiversity. They have been taught fish identification skills to recognise the quality of their catch and to ensure it meets legal requirements. Additionally, they have been trained on the use of GPS systems, appropriate fish handling and logging their catches. The fishermens groups have been given GPS units to increase their yield and cooler boxes to help maintain the quality of their product. Furthermore, they now utilize environmentally friendly fishing gear, enabling them to fish sustainably and contribute to the preservation of their natural resources. 

Fisherman of Lembeh island recieve fish handeling skills training

Coastal women on Lembeh Island historically had limited social roles as housewives, despite having the potential to contribute significantly to the household economy. Unfortunately, women's empowerment programs in the marine fisheries sector are scarce, leaving them marginalized and relegated to passive roles. Manengkel Solidaritas has helped these coastel women form a co-operative known as the "Livlihood" group, with the aim of improving their living conditions and empowering them as active participants in their communities.  


The women have received specialized training and acquired valuable knowledge and skills to process the fish caught buy the fisherman in their village, into value-added food products including ABON shredded tuna, spicy tuna sambal and banana chips. These products now hold a higher selling value than the raw catch, providing the women with additional income to support their families. The co-operative has also been given a space to sell their product and they have received e-commerce training to help them market their supplies. This economic transformation has led to a profound change in their societal roles, as they have transitioned from being spectators to active contributors to their village's progress. 

The Livlihood Womens Co-operative

Livlihood women preparing ABON shredded tuna and recieving e-commerce training

Breaking the Cycle of Debt

Previously, the fisherman would loan money from their product buyer to afford the logistics for their fishing trip. Often they would not return with enough yield to make a profit, causing many fishermen to fall into an unbreakable cycle of debt. Manengkel has helped the fishermen form a partnership with a new buyer enabling them to sell their fish at a higher price to generate more income for their families and develop their local economy.


In an effort to cut the chain, Manengkel has provided local women in these villages with supplies such as rice and gasoline so that fisherman can buy their logistics from their own community, keeping their income within their local economy while giving these women a more active role in their society. 

Fisherman of Batu Lubang celebrating the partnership with their new buyer.

The Livlihood program marks a transformative journey for Lembeh Island's fishermen and women. Together Manengkel and the Lembeh Island community are driven by the vision of a future where sustainable fishing practices not only secure livelihoods but also preserve marine biodiversity for generations. Simultaneously, we aspire to see the Livlihood women's group expand their economic contributions, becoming champions of gender empowerment. Through ongoing training and collaboration, we are committed to weaving a brighter, more equitable future where sustainability and community thrive hand in hand.

This project is supported by :

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