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Principal Investigator: Putu Liza Kusuma Mustika, Whale Stranding Indonesia

Funding year: 2013

Main objectives:

  • To develop an understanding of the extent of cetacean bycatch occurring in several priority fishing sites in Indonesia.
  • To raise local capacity for identifying bycatch evidence in cetacean stranding events.
  • Provide recommendations to reduce bycatch in priority sites identified.


Main outcomes:


  • Interview surveys at Paloh (West Kalimantan) and Adonara (East Nusa Tenggara) indicate that finless porpoises and the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins are often caught in Paloh, whereas spinner dolphins and bottlenose dolphins are often caught in Adonara.
  • The most recent cetacean bycatch incidents occurred within 18 months, with a total of 48 events identified for the combined sites. All incidental entanglements in Paloh were caused by gillnets whilst 75% of bycatch in Adonara was caused by purse seines. Although the sample sizes were small they may indicate a wider problem in Indonesia given the wide use of gillnets. 
  • The extensive use of purse-seines in Sabah (Malaysia) and apparent transboundary movement of coastal species between Paloh and Sabah suggests there are opportunities for a transboundary bycatch mitigation project. 
  • The current absence of alternative income needs to be addressed to increase the success of bycatch mitigation. Surveys in Paloh indicate fishermens’ willingness to cooperate to find solutions. 
  • Work indicates that stranding data can help to elucidate levels of bycatch in the country, although such data are still insufficient to build a more comprehensive picture. Future work should include more artisanal bycatch research within Indonesia and Malaysia as well expanding to the commercial fishing sector 
  • Future marine mammal stranding training workshops are recommended and should include bycatch components, including the release of live animals.



Mustika, L. et al. 2014. Pilot study to identify the extent of small cetacean bycatch in Indonesia using fisher interview and stranding data as proxies final cetacean bycatch. Final report to the International Whaling Commission. Click here to read.