24 Sep Diving into the Core Zone: Reef Health Monitoring in Nusa Penida Marine Protected Area
After a challenging reef health monitoring trip in July, the reef health monitoring team went out again on September 24-25, 2019 to survey seven more spots around Nusa Penida Marine Protected Area (MPA), including the core zone called Batu Abah. The team was composed of representatives from the Nusa Penida MPA Management Unit, with support from BPSPL Denpasar, CTC, Mambo Diving, Siren Diving and Living Seas
Due to rough conditions during the first reef health monitoring, the team decided to complete the rest of the spots in September when the waves and currents were more calm and conducive to scientific diving and monitoring.
Still, strong currents made the morning challenging, with the experienced divers multitasking to maintain buoyancy, set up transects and record fish and coral species. The incredible diversity at the sites visited was a privilege to witness, and highlighted the importance and impact of effective MPA management.
On the second day the team visited the special arrangement tourism zone around Nusa Lembongan, including Lembongan Bay. Nusa Penida’s zoning system is important to all stakeholders in the area, and ensuring these zones are being appropriately used and managed requires constant monitoring and review. As a high-tourism area, the waters around the islands face unique challenges, and the cooperation of different groups is vital to protecting and maintaining these ecosystems.
Reef health monitoring trips provide the basis for the management of the marine resources around the islands, and inform the management unit on the challenges facing ecosystems. The team was once again inspired by the incredible places we get to visit, and the urgent need to ensure we protect them for generations to come.