SPECIAL REPORTING PROJECT: INDONESIAN FISHERIES

Background

Straddling the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Indonesia is a land of unrivaled marine diversity and fisheries wealth. Its waters contain some 5,000 species of fish, 600 species of coral, and the largest expanse of mangroves and reefs in the world. Indonesia is a top producer of fish, crustaceans and aquatic plants, with millions of people employed in the sector. Most of the country’s animal protein comes from seafood.

But these fisheries are also in flux. Since taking office, President Joko Widodo has revamped Indonesia’s regulatory structures governing who can fish in its waters and how they are allowed to do it. This has led to a war on illegal fishing, a ban on certain fishing methods and a boom in aquaculture designed to regenerate depleted fish stocks. Meanwhile, communities and other groups across the country have continued to grapple with the fallout from overfishing and the degradation of marine ecosystems, often devising new ways of managing and protecting them.

With this reporting initiative, Mongabay will explore how these trends are playing out across the archipelago. We’ll be looking at Indonesia’s lakes and rivers as well as at its seas.

We welcome proposals from experienced journalists for conventional news stories, in-depth features, investigative reports, profiles, and case studies. We will also consider proposals for fully edited and produced videos of up to 10 minutes in length.

Opinion pieces, or commentaries, will not be considered for this project and are not paid opportunities. Please share commentary pitches using this form and refer to submission guidelines here.

Each story will be between 800 and 2,000 words in length and will include quotes from at least three original interviews. Authors will be expected to provide five to 10 publishable photos free for Mongabay’s use to accompany their articles, along with captions and photo credits.

Mongabay will negotiate all fees and contracts on a per-story basis. Completed stories will be paid on a per word or fixed fee basis, with rates depending primarily on the journalist’s experience.  Mongabay.com publishes under an open Creative Commons license that allows for sharing, translation, and re-posting.  More information on Mongabay’s editorial standards and practice can be found here.

How to submit your story pitch

To send Mongabay a pitch, please be prepared to also share your resume/portfolio along with three samples of your work. The story pitch should be roughly 500 words in length and include a title for the project. Viable pitches will clearly explain the specific subject you would like to write about in detail and your approach to covering it, and describe a few potential sources. Pitches for video-led stories should also include a shot list and a list of expected interviews.

Support for travel expenses may also be provided by Mongabay. Please include a preliminary travel plan and budget estimate (using this template) if support for travel expenses will be required to carry out reporting. Do not include payments for your work in this budget estimate. Please also describe COVID-19-related precautions you intend to take and any travel restrictions that may impact your plans.

Pitches will be considered on a rolling basis through the end of the year, or when our budget is disbursed. Stories must be published by November 15.