In April 2021, we started a collaboration in Bukti with the local fishermen who formed the NGO Pokmaswas Satya Bahari. Over the years the fishermen and the local community became worried about the condition of the Bukti coral reefs. Climate change and destructive fishing methods such as cyanide fishing for the aquarium trade deteriorated the local reefs. When a big ghost net was discovered on one of the reefs, contact was established with Coral Reef Care to team up and conserve the reef ecosystem. From then on, things went fast.
Four reefs have become No Take Zones. In this case this means there is no fishing allowed regardless of the fishing method. The reefs will be patrolled by the fishermen and demarcated with marker buoys. An important part of the project is the regular monitoring of the reefs to clean up ghost nets and other waste, take out invasive species (e.g. Crown of Thorns, Drupella), etc.
To perform the monitoring and restoration tasks, four Bukti fishermen have been given dive courses by Coral Reef Care. In many places in Indonesia the waste problem is troubling. A lot of waste is dumped in nature and often in river beds. After the first rains a lot of it enters the oceans, making it an ecological threat. Mostly diapers, rice bags, clothes and other fabrics are an imminent threat to corals. They entangle, cover and kill the corals softly by hindering the photosynthesis and foraging of the coral polyps. If we don’t clean up at least monthly, corals entangled with this type of waste will die.
Our main goal is to establish more marine protected areas. Worldwide less than 3% of the ocean is seriously protected and has enforcement in place. On the contrary, on land around 16% is a protected area. That´s why the Bukti project is extra special for us, it is about community/driven conservation that offers full protection for the reef ecosystem.