Indonesia is a vast archipelago, stretching over 3,000 miles and including the heart of the Coral Triangle. Fisheries and marine conservation is fundamentally important to Indonesia’s large population, but to date the political, legal, economic and institutional socio-cultural settings for fisheries management and marine conservation have been plagued by institutional and legal uncertainty. Even in cases where laws are clear, monitoring and enforcement are often unpredictable, or simply lacking. This has caused problems, but it has also created opportunities for innovative experiments at the local level, across the diverse cultural and political landscape of this nation of islands. This article describes the most notable examples of these experiments and how they may shape future marine conservation policy in Indonesia.