15 Jul Bali’s Coral Reefs Resilient From Threats; Implementation of Marine Resource Regulations Needed to Prevent Further Decline
To celebrate World Oceans Day and Coral Triangle Day, the Coral Triangle Center (CTC) invited the press to a conference about the results from the first ever-comprehensive survey undertaken to assess the status of Bali’s coral reefs.
The Bali Reef Health Survey showed that the island’s corals remain resilient despite threats from pollution, unregulated fishing and irresponsible tourism. The survey was conducted over four months from July to October 2015, and showed that 60% of Bali’s coral reefs are in good condition.
The survey was led by the Coral Triangle Center (CTC), in collaboration with Udayana University, Universitas Pendidikan Ganesha (UNDIKSA), Department of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Bali Province, Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, and fully supported by The Nature Conservancy Indonesia.
CTC’s Learning Site Manager Marthen Welly attributes some of the positive scores to a district or community’s dependence on marine tourism as an income generator. “Communities are more willing to adopt sustainable marine tourism practices to help preserve community wealth,” he said.
Although the survey showed a rosy picture of Bali’s coral reef status, Mr. Welly stated that human impacts, such as pollution, unregulated fishing and irresponsible tourism, continue to threaten Bali’s coastal and marine ecosystems. Global warming also puts pressure on the environment; rising sea temperatures have lead to coral bleaching, a phenomenon that is causing widespread damage to reefs across the globe.
“We must continue to protect surrounding coral reefs with the strengthening of marine resource use regulations and introducing sustainable marine businesses,” said CTC’s Executive Director Rili Djohani.
The Bali Reef Health Survey found that there is growing potential for sustainable aquaculture, especially in areas such as seaweed, pearl, fish and crustacean farming. The expansion of the aquaculture sector can provide local fishermen and coastal communities an alternative source of income. This allows fish stocks around Bali to replenish
CTC hopes that the results from the survey will fuel discussions on the implementation of marine conservation laws and regulations across Bali. In the meantime, the organization will continue its own reef health research and focus its efforts on the effective management of conservation areas in Bali and beyond.