United Nations
A Holistic Solution for the Eradication of Destructive Fishing Practices in South-East Asia
by Reef Defenders (Non-governmental organization (NGO))
Destructive fishing, is aptly named due to the use of fishing methods that also destroy marine habitat, examples include fish bombing, cyanide fishing and bottom trawling. The destruction of these habitats not only means less breeding grounds for fish, but also the biodiversity of areas frequently used to attract tourists is lost. For many developing nations in SEA this presents an insurmountable challenge in terms of maintaining a delicate balance between the interests of the indigenous fishermen as well as the needs of the tourism industry.

Current effective and sustainable solutions, as supported by peer reviewed science, emphasize a focus on addressing the needs of the indigenous community as the priority. This requires three major points of focus. First is the establishment of sustainable alternative livelihood with environmental education and awareness programs. Second is marine habitat enhancement and reinforcement. Third is science, to identify the resources needed and to guide the effort by monitoring, surveying and measuring the effectiveness of the eradication measures employed.

Since 2014, Reef Defenders have deployed a network of more than 50 blast detectors at 20 sites located in Malaysia, Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region of China) and the Philippines. Over one million blast records have been collected and analyzed. We are currently expanding in Malaysia, Philippines, Myanmar and Indonesia.

The underwater blast monitoring equipment used is based on US Government seismic recording technology, adapted for use by Oceanway in 1995. Scientific monitoring consisting of background blast counts, video fish surveys and coral health based on CoralWatch. The initial data collection becomes the baseline. The baseline data quantifies the problem, and resources can then be strategically budgeted for maximum effect.

Collected data analysis provides feedback on the status. When current data is compared to past data and the initial baseline, the effectiveness of any effort or resource spent becomes measurable. Periodically comprehensive environmental reports are produced. This allows for discussions with the authorities and various other stakeholders to review project status, and agree on iterative changes.

Quality of life improvement of the community will be achieved in two ways. First is to establish sustainable alternative livelihoods based mainly on aquaculture, with the technical support of Oceanus. This aims to supplement the income of the indigenous fishermen. This also acts as a buffer for the recovery and restoration of fish stocks and marine habitat. Second, our partner RBC Consultant, a company endorsed by the UNIDO, provides a simple solution for water purification and sewerage treatment, to ensure a supply of clean drinking water.

Thirdly, the indigenous will be involved in marine habitat and area restoration for the benefit of enhancing marine biodiversity. These community projects will serve two purposes. Increase the speed of recovery of damaged or destroyed habitat, and to improve biodiversity so as to enhance areas rather than just conserve them.
Progress reports
December 2019
Sustainable alternative livelihood through marine habitat and biodiversity restoration and aquaculture projects
December 2019
90% Reduction of destructive fishing within 2 years of commencement in any area in cooperation with relevant authorities and other stakeholders
December 2020
Expand environmental data collection network and continue to eradicate destructive fishing practices in all areas of operation (Blast, Fish and Coral)
October 2017
Development of a village drinking water system upon commencement
Financing (in USD)
420,000 USD
Staff / Technical expertise
Aquaculture management (Oceanus Group Limited, Castle Seafood Co. Ltd., BNY Abalone World Factory Outlet Pty. Ltd., RBC Consultant Co. Ltd., Takusui Group, Hakuyodo)
Staff / Technical expertise
Staff/Technical Expertise Post Phd. Marine scienctists for data collection and analysis (Oceanway Corporation Limited)
Staff / Technical expertise
Water, Wastewater, Sewerage Purification (RBC Consultant)
Basic information
Time-frame: June 2014 - December 2030
Reef Guardian Sdn Bhd (NGO), Reef Check Malaysia (NGO), Oceanway Corporation Limited (Private Sector), Oceanus Group Limited (Private Sector), Castle Seafood Co. Ltd. (Private Sector), BNY Abalone World Factory Outlet Pty. Ltd. (Private Sector), RBC Consultant Co. Ltd. (Private Sector), Takusui Group (Private Sector), Hakuyodo (Private Sector)
Ocean Basins
  • Indian Ocean
  • South Pacific
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Adrian Chan, Director, info@thereefdefenders.org, +852 9158 3702
Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of China
Other SDGs
United Nations