Lilifuk Becomes a Shortcut for the People of East Nusa Tenggara in Managing Marine Resources

PUBLISHED,- Surrounded by a wide and beautiful ocean, East Nusa Tenggara has local knowledge or wisdom to protect and manage marine resources.

The sea is something that has an important essence for the people of East Nusa Tenggara. In order to survive, a person must follow the path he wants, which is what we are now often referred to as the ninja way. The people of East Nusa Tenggara have their own ninja way to keep managing marine resources in a sustainable manner through local wisdom called lilifuk.

Lilifuk itself is an area in sea waters in the form of a pond that is inundated at low tide. Etymologically, lilifuk comes from the Dawan language (the language of the Timorese), namely the word “nifu” which means pond. It is called a pond because lilifuk is a basin on the bottom surface of coastal waters which is inundated with water at the highest low tide. Lilifuk is filled with seagrass beds rich in pepper fish (banonang) and dusung fish that sit by the sea. This basin resembles a large pond with a maximum depth of 5 (five) meters and an area of ± 20,000 m2.

Lilifuk continues to grow to become one of the Community Based Management (CBM) fisheries resources in the form of granting authority, responsibility and opportunities to the community to manage their own marine and fishery resources by taking into account their needs, desires, goals and aspirations.

Among the areas that still apply lilifuk are people in the coastal area of Kupang Bay. Lilifuk is one of the local wisdoms that has existed for a long time and is applied with the aim of supporting sustainable coastal and marine management or conservation through fishing with environmentally friendly tools and methods.

The history of lilifuk is generally known to the public from parents, community, and relatives. According to public perception, Lilifuk has been inherited by ancestors since 1950 until now and is guarded by several tribes, and then at harvest time it will be harvested by the entire community through the distribution of invitations.

The ownership of lilifuk by a certain tribe is due to the history of the area being discovered by one of the members of the tribe so that it can be claimed as its customary property. The agreement to close the area was made on a shared desire and was initiated by traditional leaders, village governments, religious leaders and the community.

Fishing at the time of Lilifuk’s opening was carried out by the village community as well as from outside the village. The fishing is usually done within two days depending on the decision of the lilifuk owner. The opening of lilifuk usually begins with traditional feasts and religious rituals before the fish harvest in the area.

At low tide, lilifuk will be filled with various marine life trapped in it. These biota include pepper fish, dusung fish, and various types of seaweed. Decisions regarding the management of lilifuk are made by the Baineo tribe as landlords (pah tuaf) or owners of lilifuk.

The ninja way of the people of East Nusa Tenggara by practicing the customary law of lilifuk by paying attention to the preservation of coastal ecosystems, has a very big impact. Lilifuk has various benefits for the people who practice it. The community can benefit from the economic, social and environmental aspects, because the management is based on sustainability. (LS)


Yulisti, M., Kurniasari, N., & Yuliaty, C. (2014). Analisis Keberlanjutan Lilifuk: Tinjauan Persepsi Masyarakat Lokal. Jurnal Sosial Ekonomi Kelautan Dan Perikanan9(1), 92-103.