Mongabay Awarded Prizes for Reporting on Fisheries

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  • Fisherman loading sardines for export into the back of a pickup truck in Batu Putih, North Sulawesi.

    Fisherman loading sardines for export into the back of a pickup truck in Batu Putih, North Sulawesi.

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Recently, - a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness on social and environmental issues relating to tropical forests and other ecosystems, announced the winners of two environmental reporting prizes under its Special Reporting Initiative (SRI) program.

    The prizes sought proposals to investigate questions around marine fisheries management in the Pacific. The first aims to explore the state of marine fisheries in Indonesia. The second, structured as a special reporting assignment, looks at locally managed marine areas in Fiji. The reporting projects will investigate what's driving overfishing and the potential for the improvement in management and policy.

    The winner of the Indonesia reporting project is Melati Kaye, who was selected by an independent panel of journalists, conservationists, and Indonesian fisheries experts. Kaye's SRI topic is entitled 'A Tale of Two Fish: Unsustainable Supply Chains in Indonesia'.

    An experienced environment reporter, Kaye has written about the effect of climate change on Indonesia's sea gypsies and the 2008 collapse of the American West Coast salmon fishery. Melati was an intern at the National Public Radio and National Geographic, before striking out as a reporter in Alaska and, more recently, Indonesia. Melati's work has appeared on Terra Informa Radio, Alaska Public Radio, ForestNews, Al Jazeera In Depth, and the Jakarta Post.

    Meanwhile, marine biologist and science journalist Amy West was selected for the special reporting assignment on locally-managed coral reef fisheries in Fiji. Her project is titled 'Beneath the ripples of local fisheries management: Is this marine protection plan working for Fiji?'.

    Amy's reporting will specifically explore how local Fijians interact with conservation NGO's working to set up marine management plans. Her stories will convey the complexities of balancing traditional customs with sometimes conflicting conservation and economic goals. Amy West is a freelance science writer and former marine biologist- with both careers taking her from pole to pole.

    Kaye and West's pieces will be published in mid-2014. Feature articles will be published in third party publications, while stories that appear on —'s distribution platform — will be published under an open Creative Commons license to encourage sharing and broad dissemination. The goal of the SRI program is to support high-quality environmental journalism on underreported subjects.