Mapping the Sea: Knowledge for Natural Resources Management

Publication | October 2009
Mapping the Sea: Knowledge for Natural Resources Management

When a tsunami struck Aceh, many fishers died and, as a consequence, much knowledge of coastal areas, fishing grounds, ocean currents, and navigational hazards disappeared.


  • With loss of life from the devastating tsunami of 2004, knowledge of fishing grounds around Aceh was reduced: the locations of reefs and other underwater hazards became less clear to the remaining fishers; consequently, they frequently damaged or lost their nets.
  • To restore knowledge of fishing grounds, the ADB-assisted Earthquake and Tsunami Emergency Support Project partnered with the Panglima Laot-Aceh's traditional fishing authority and with fishers to conduct a community-based bathymetric survey and map the ocean floor.
  • The beneficiaries collected data to help produce maps of hazardous coastal areas, potential fishing grounds, and ocean currents.
  • Because of the survey, the Panglima Laot and fishers learned to partner with others and their capacity to keep more transparent accounts was improved.