This paper introduces a new project based in Indonesia entitled 'Selection Criteria and Co-Management Guidelines for Harvest Reserves in Tropical River Fisheries'. The project started in November 1997, and is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). It will identify ecological and institutional criteria for the selection and beneficial use of harvest reserves in tropical, artisanal river fisheries; and develop guidelines for their co-management. In this study, the term 'harvest reserve' refers to a spatially defined area of water managed with any specified set of technical regulations, intended to sustain or increase the potential fish yield of existing, natural fish stocks, for the benefit of fishers. Project activities are divided into the following five main phases: (1) an inception and legal workshop, (2) a regional reserve survey (RRS) (reserve identification and fieldwork planning), (3) a monitoring programme (biological, socio-economic and institutional surveys), (4) analysis of reserve benefits (estimation of reserve benefits, and their causes), and (5) dissemination and training (preparation and presentation of guidelines). This paper describes the results of the first two phases. The RRS identified 22 existing harvest reserves in three provinces studied, i.e., West Kalimantan, Jambi and South Sumatra. In West Kalimantan, 'community reserves' were used by at least three of the forty fishing villages in the Danau Sentarum Wildlife Reserve (DSWR) to maintain their own local fish stocks. These reserves appeared to be effectively managed by application of strong, traditional institutions restricting certain gears or certain seasons, leading to the fact that local fish stocks still comprised many large, valuable fish species compared to some other villages without reserves. In both Jambi and South Sumatra, reserves were more often imposed 'top-down' by Provincial Fisheries Services (PFS) intended to give benefits to the catchment as a whole. The regulations for these reserves usually forbid all fishing activities for the whole year, and were sometimes enforced by local guards. Both Jambi and South Sumatra PFS have plans for developing many more river reserves for the near future. During the RRS, a reserve categorisation system was developed, by which the identified reserves were classified according to their (a) intended beneficiaries (local or catchment), (b) catchment position (upland or floodplain), (c) habitat type (river section or lake), (d) management agencies (set up / managed mainly by government or by community), and (e) management regulations (3 categories of partial reserves or full reserves). Eleven reserves, representing the main combinations of these categories, have been selected for further study in the project's monitoring programme.
Fisheries Management Science Programme, Department for International Development, London, UK, 15 pp.