About the project

Since 2012, we are involved in educating local communities on all Banda Islands about the concept of a marine protected area (MPA). This program was initiated by the Indonesian headquarters of the NGO Coral Triangle Center (CTC). As we are directly based on Banda, our task in this cooperation is to help conducting regular reef surveys together with a local team. We are also there to quickly respond to any issues regarding the violation of rules and to raise awareness for the consequences of those issues. Thanks to the collaboration between NGOs and local communities, three more MPAs could grow. They are all locally initiated by the respective island communities are and located surrounding Rhun, Ay and Hatta Island, the islands with the most diverse and healthiest reefs. As the regulations were developed by the communities themselves, it is also the responsibility of the communities to control the MPAs and to collect access fees from tourists. These fees are used for a rubbish program on Ay, for the installation of moorings as alternatives to anchoring in the reefs and for basic touristic infrastructure, such as picnic and toilet facilities at the beach.

Since many coral reefs worldwide died due to the extreme coral bleaching event caused by El Nino in 2016, we have increased the frequency of our reef surveys. In the extremely hot period between February and May 2016, we conducted weekly reef surveys. The data was submitted to the Indonesian Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Affairs to be included in an Indonesian-wide comparison of the health status of reefs. Banda’s reefs have recovered from the warm periods really well, despite of the occurrence of bleaching we found at some sites.

There was hardly any mortality in corals, which can result from bleaching if it persists over a too long time. Compared to other sites in Indonesia, the Bandas were really lucky. This discovery is really important for future decisions regarding which areas and which reefs should receive more attention and a higher effort of protection. To look at this more closely we depend on donations. Just a 50 € donation can facilitate a health- and fish- survey of one reef.

For those who would like to get involved personally, we can offer to learn about the survey techniques through our local partner SEA Ventures. After learning the survey methods, the surveys can be conducted together with our local team.

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Overall aim of Banda Sea e.V.’s involvement in managing Banda’s marine protected area network is to create a healthy and clean environment on the islands, educate people in sustainable fishing and marine ecology, and ban overfishing and destructive fishing methods carried out by foreign fishing vessels that come close to the islands.

Overall aim of Banda Sea e.V.’s involvement in managing Banda’s marine protected area network is to create a healthy and clean environment on the islands, educate people in sustainable fishing and marine ecology, and ban overfishing and destructive fishing methods carried out by foreign fishing vessels that come close to the islands.

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