Thresher Shark Project Indonesia

Saving Indonesia's Thresher Sharks


216 supporters

$30,000 goal

Team Members



31 supporters



18 supporters



4 supporters


We need your help to save Thresher sharks in Indonesia. 

Your donation will have an immediate impact and contribute directly towards ending a targeted Thresher shark fishery in east Indonesia,  whilst providing vulnerable fishing communities with a sustainable alternative form of income.

This project model has the potential to be adapted on a global scale as a way of protecting endangered marine life whilst safeguarding poverty-stricken fishing communities. 

We plan to have Thresher sharks fully protected in this region by 2022. Help us achieve this. 

Indonesia is the world's largest shark fishing nation and an international priority for shark conservation.

For many remote coastal communities, shark fishing is a crucial source of livelihood. Alor Island is located within the East Nusa Tenggara Province in the southern part of the Coral Triangle – this area is amongst the most biodiverse marine environments on our planet, home to more than 30% of all coral and fish species, including many iconic shark and ray species. Alor is also home to a targeted Thresher shark fishery.

Coastal communities in Alor Island have been depending on thresher sharks (Alopias pelagicus) as an important source of livelihood for decades. The thresher sharks provide food for the villagers as well as a small source of income. Villagers sell the shark meat for less than $1 a kg. This money helps them pay for their children to attend school and put food on the table for their families.

On average, around 300 Thresher sharks are caught here each year. The majority of Thresher sharks caught in Alor are pregnant females, indicating that this area is an extremely important birthing ground for this species.

Thresher sharks are an IUCN listed endangered species. If not controlled, this targeted shark fishery has the potential to wipe out the entire population of Thresher sharks in this region.

These sharks are a keystone species and an incredibly important biodiversity aspect. We cannot let them die out. 




We at Thresher Shark Project Indonesia (Registered non-profit AHU-0019780.AH.01.04 ) have been working alongside the shark fishing communities of Alor since early 2018. Our goal is to increase the protection of this incredible species, whilst providing the shark fishing communities with a more sustainable alternative income opportunity.

We have tagged 20 thresher sharks with satellite and acoustic technology in order to understand their movement and to promote future site-based protection within this area. Our awareness work highlighting the importance of protecting Thresher sharks has reached more than 500 communities, students, businesses, and government members. Our early engagement with this issue and years spent on the ground have allowed us to gain trust amongst the community here.

With the support of the shark fisherman themselves, have come up with a viable solution, that can benefit both the Thresher sharks and the fishing communities who depend on them.

The fishermen are eager to transition from a targeted Thresher shark fishery into a sustainable yellowfin tuna fishery. This will not only eliminate the fishing pressure on Thresher sharks in the area but will also provide the fishing communities with a more secure long term livelihood opportunity. 

We plan to help them achieve this, but we need your support.


The yellowfin tuna fishery in Alor is an extremely productive fishery. Tuna have significantly faster growth and reproduction rates compared to Thresher sharks, and the yellowfin tuna population in the region is thriving. Each tuna has the potential to be sold for $100-$150, compared to a Thresher shark which sells for less than 50$ per individual. The shark fishermen have previously not been able to take part in this abundant fishery due to a lack of fishery business knowledge, skills, equipment, and management support. Tourism is not a viable alternative option for this community as it would be too inconsistent, and the fishermen prefer to stick to what they already know and are good at - fishing. 

By empowering these fishermen into transitioning from a targeted Thresher shark subsistence fishery into a sustainable tuna fishery business, we are providing them with a more secure livelihood future whilst protecting the region’s Thresher sharks from overfishing. 

This project model has the potential to be adapted on a national and even global scale as a way of protecting endangered marine life whilst safeguarding poverty-stricken fishing communities who depend on ocean resources.

100% of funds raised from this crowdfunding campaign will be used to pilot the tuna improvement program for Alor shark fishers and community members. We will provide them with market access, new facilities, equipment, and essential training that will improve their economic well-being and allow them to participate in a sustainably managed tuna fishery, whilst eliminating their dependency on Thresher shark fishing.

More specifically, we plan to:

  1. Provide fishing facilities, such as 2x small-scale tuna fishing boats, sustainable handline gear, handheld GPS, and iceboxes for two groups of Alor shark fishermen to transition into sustainable tuna fishing. This equipment will be owned by us at Thresher Shark Project, with shark fisherman being allowed to utilize this equipment upon completion of the training program.
  2. Conduct capacity building programs for Alor shark fishermen and community members in sustainable fisheries practices, as well as effective fish handling, preservation, and ethical business and financial management.
  3. Pilot a sustainable fisheries market for these ex-shark fishermen, collaborating with fisheries e-commerce infrastructures and creating a local fisheries governance system for the sustainable management of this community fishery.

How are we going to use the donations?

  • Purchase 2 small-scale tuna fishing boats: @ US$9,000 x 2 = $18,000
  • Handheld GPS: @ US$100 x 2 = US$200
  • Icebox for 2 groups: @ US$250 x 2 = US$500
  • Series of training on sustainable fisheries and business practices (fish handling, preservation, and supply chain) for shark fishermen: US$ 3,500
  • Piloting a market chain, collaborating with Indonesian fisheries e-commerce, which includes renting business facilities, capital, and other operational costs: US$ 7,800

We thank you for your support in our project and your contribution towards ensuring a future for Thresher sharks in Indonesia. 


Team Thresher Shark Project Indonesia

You can keep updated with our work via our website and social media pages








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