Andhika Prima Prasetyo,
Former PhD Student
I am an Associate Researcher at the Center for Fisheries Research, Agency for Marine and Fisheries Research and Human Resources, Ministry for Marine Affairs and Fisheries - Republic of Indonesia. Our major concern is exploring science on fisheries management and conservation in Indonesia's waters. I attained my Bachelor of Fisheries Science from Department of Fisheries Resources Utilization at Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia and completed my master degree on Fisheries Biology and Management James Cook University, Australia in 2016. My minor's project was titled “Are Marine Predators Photogenic? Video Approaches for Data Deficient Reef-Associated Predators in Indonesia” and was part of Global FinPrint Project that supervised by Prof. Colin Simpfendorfer. After finishing my studies, I played an important role as second layer of one of well-known shark and ray scientist in Indonesia, Mr. Dharmadi. Indonesia have limited experts on elasmobranch and this drove me to get actively involved in many associated projects, such as developing non-detrimental findings for CITES’s trade scheme, conducting sawfish conservation campaign, assessing socio-economic aspect and providing scientific advice on an effective management and conservation measures of elasmobranch in Indonesia. That opportunity led me to works closely with many institutions to help managing and conserving population of elasmobranch, such as Directorate for Conservation and Marine Biodiversity – MMAF, Directorate for Fish Resources Management-MMAF, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Indonesia, WWF Indonesia, Conservation International (CI) Indonesia, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC), Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI).
Indonesia has a massive biodiversity of elasmobranch, and knowing that Indonesia is one of top exporter of shark and ray in the world called my attention. The CITES established trade mechanism to slow down the extinction rate of several species. A dense population and socio-economic issues adds another layer of complexity in ensuring sustainability of elasmobranch in Indonesia. Illegal trade of shark and ray product arise as a serious problem, within 2015-2017 there was a dramatic increase of illegal trade (more than 80%) that had been prevented by Indonesian authority (Serang Institute for Coastal and Marine Resource Management, 2018; DCMB-MMAF, 2018). It is crucial to minimize the illegal trade of shark and ray product, yet product identification remains challenging. The genetic approach is an emerging tool that could deal with this problem. A DNA analysis be could used to identify organisms from unidentified morphology, such as dried fin, cartilages, oil and dried meat.
Those facts led me to be an Industrial Sponsored PhD student in the Mariani lab, School of Environmental and Life Science, at the Univeristy of Salford. I am working on genetic approaches to reduce illegal trading of shark and ray products in Indonesia under the supervision of professor Stefano Mariani. This project is a collaboration between the University of Salford and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF), the Republic of Indonesia, and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Indonesia Program; and is funded by the Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) Challenge Fund.