In May 2022, we started a collaboration in Sukadana with the local fishermen and their NGO Kerthi Buana Segara. The fishermen and the local community became worried about the condition of their reefs. The presence of polluting shrimp farms and overfishing gave rise to concern.
After our assessment of the coral reefs we found that the corals were in relative good shape. However, there was a clear shortage of fish on the reefs, especially mid-big size. The best way to restore this is, is to establish a Marine Protected Area (MPA) and refrain from fishing (see theory on this in Marine Protected Areas )
The community agreed and the small reef of 3-4 hectares in front of the village has become a No Take Zone. The rules will be enforced by the fishermen and we demarcated the MPA 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.
Our goal with the Sukadana project is to expand the marine protected area to neighbouring villages. Already after one year, the increase of fish biomass and biodiversity is astounding. As soon as the reef becomes a dive site, other villages will see the direct benefit of protection and will hopefully follow suit.