19 Mar Awareness Raising Activities Highlight the Importance of Marine Resource Protection in Sula, North Maluku
As part of its efforts to support the establishment of new MPAs in North Maluku under the USAID SEA Project, CTC facilitated a series of awareness raising activities to disseminate the importance of marine conservation in Sula Islands, North Maluku. The activities were held on March 11-19, 2018 in several locations including Sanana City, Sulabesi Tengah, Sulabesi Timur, Mangoli Tengah, Mangoli Timur and Mangoli Utara Timur. The last leg was held Ternate City attended by representatives from provincial governmental agencies. In total, 328 people attended the actvities representing local governmental staff, community leaders, fishermen, women and youth.
The awareness raising activities highlighted the key marine bidoversity assets in Sula islands, which were recorded during a scientific survey conducted by CTC last year. Some key highlights include the finding of dense population of green turtle and hawksbill turtle around the island, with average of 40 animals found in one transect of 200 to 300 meters. Apart from these, the communities were also informed about marine conservation and management concepts, existing marine resources and potentials, and the importance of setting up an MPA.
The activities generated positive response from the participants and indicated strong community support towards the establishment of MPA in their respective areas. The participants welcomed an MPA establishment to restore the fisheries such as increasing fish catch amount and size, as well as to protect the charismatic marine animals like dolphins, whales and sea turtles. The participants also asked CTC to provide more information about MPA through training, workshop and other outreach activities, signaling their desire to protect and manage their marine environment.