Diagnosing Milkfish Aquaculture Governance Challenges in Gresik: Apply Socio-Ecological System Framework

Aquaculture production is increasing globally, not only for direct human consumption but also generates products from food processing, drugs, cosmetics, fuel, and other industrial products and thus contributing to ecosystem services. Rapid growth in production and transformation of behavior towards intensification exemplify pressures on the environment and creates socio-ecological challenges for governing aquaculture. However, challenges for governing aquaculture need to be identified to ensure a sustainable future for the sector. The purpose of this study is to contribute to the knowledge of governing aquaculture commons in coastal pond aquaculture as a complex socio-ecological system, with the aim to better understand challenges in aquaculture associated with sustainable outcomes. This study applies the Socio-Ecological System Framework (SESF) by Ostrom to identify key variables influencing collective action through semi-structured interviews with relevant actors in milkfish aquaculture in a village in Gresik, Indonesia. A descriptive qualitative approach was applied to give a better understanding of the system. Our analysis reveals that pond location and government investment are the most important drivers of collective action. On the contrary, low monitoring (or absence in this case) and exclusion from discussion processes lead to negative collective action efforts. However, social capital, network structure, and trust reciprocity between fish farmers and private sectors (patron) can be considered as an alternative governance strategy.