08 Feb CTC Conducts Scoping Expeditions to Buano and Morotai Islands in Eastern Indonesia
This month, CTC traveled to Buano and Morotai Islands in eastern Indonesia to look at possible new sites that could be developed into marine protected areas (MPAs).
On February 8-11, 2017, CTC traveled to the northeastern coast of Maluku Province to visit a little-known but ecologically important Buano, Island. The small island, inhabited by two communities, is a critical area for fisheries spawning and a source of fish larvae in the area. Buano Island also hosts several charismatic marine species such as manta rays, turtles, sharks and cetaceans and has a complete and intact coastal ecosystem with mangrove, seagrass and coral reefs.
On February 17-24, 2017, CTC traveled to Morotai Islands in North Maluku Province. Morotai is considered one of marine conservation priority areas of the Government of Indonesia because of the presence of high marine biodiversity under it waters, including more than estimated 800 species of fish found by scientists in the area.
The scoping expeditions are part of CTC’s activities under USAID’s Sustainable Ecosystem Advanced Project, which aims to strengthen marine conservation and sustainable fisheries management in Maluku, North Maluku and West Papua. The five-year project is being implemented by TetraTech, CTC and other partners such as WWF and Wildlife Conservation Society.
Results of the scoping expedition will be used to design biophysic and socio-economic survey that is important to gauge the feasibility of developing MPAs in these sites. An MPA is an area of the ocean where human activities are more strictly managed than in the surrounding waters. MPAs are established to ensure the long-term viability and maintenance of marine biodiversity, to provide refuge for fish and other species to grow, breed and repopulate surrounding waters, and protect the natural resource base that can provide alternative revenue generating opportunities, among others.
Further expeditions and scientific surveys will be conducted later in this year to further study the marine bio-diversity and socio-economic conditions of these islands. (Photos by Marthen Welly/CTC)