Educating the fishery sector’s next generation is a vital step in the development of a more sustainable industry. With this in mind, the Sustainable Fisheries team have developed a school outreach programme.

On August 14 we visited SMK Miftahul Ulum, a vocational school focusing on fishery product processing, and on September 27 we visited SMKN Darul Ulum, a vocational school focusing on fishing vessel engineering. A total of 68 students participated in these outreach programmes, where we introduced students to mobulid ray conservation, sustainable seafood markets, and bycatch mitigation technologies.

We presented key information, and then had a lively discussion with the students during which they asked questions and debated how bycatch mitigation technologies could contribute to Muncar’s fishery sector. We conducted a pre- and post-training questionnaire, which showed that more than 80% of participants now have greater knowledge about the conservation status of mobuild rays, and steps that the fishery sector can take to enhance sustainability and competitiveness.

“Our school outreach programme aims to inspire the young generation within coastal communities and increase awareness about tools to reduce unwanted bycatch, as well as the requirements and potential benefits of sustainable seafood markets. I hope that, with their new knowledge, these students will play an important role in sustaining the economic and environmental value of Banyuwangi’s marine resources”, explained Vidlia Rosady, Sustainable Fisheries Project Leader.

With education being such an important aspect of conservation and sustainable fisheries, we are now reviewing the lessons learned from the two school outreach visits, in preparation for conducting further outreach programmes to more local students in Muncar, Banyuwangi.