Special Reporting Project: Fisheries in Indonesia

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 five years ago, 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 reported stories. Opinion pieces will not be considered. Each story will be approximately 800 to 2,000 words in length and will include quotes from at least three or four original interviews. Authors will be expected to provide 5-10 publishable photos to accompany their articles, along with captions and photo credits. We will also consider proposals for fully edited and produced videos of up to 10 minutes in length.

Completed stories will be published in English on Mongabay.com under an open Creative Commons license that allows for sharing and re-posting. They could potentially be translated into another language and published by Mongabay.

Mongabay will negotiate all fees and contracts on a per-story basis. Completed stories will be paid per word, depending on the journalist’s experience and the complexity of the reporting. We offer a bonus of $100-$300 for high-quality b-roll footage we can cut into a short video to promote the story on social media. We also offer a small bonus of $25 to journalists who proactively get their stories republished in major third-party print media outlets and on websites that draw more than 100,000 unique visitors per month.

Please submit your pitch here along with your journalism resume and three clips. Pitches should be roughly 500 words in length. They should clearly explain the specific subject you would like to write about and your approach to covering it, describe a few potential sources and include an itemized estimate of any travel funding needed to complete the project. Applications must be submitted in English.

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.