01 Feb Management Effectiveness of Ay and Rhun Islands Marine Protected Area Based on Reef Fish and Live Coral Cover in the Banda Islands, Maluku
As a response to the question “how is your MPA doing”, the CTC’s Marine Conservation Advisor, Marthen Welly, conducted research on the management effectiveness of the Ay and Rhun Islands MPA. The MPA, located in the Banda Islands, Maluku Province, and situated in the heart of the Coral Triangle region, was established under a decree from the Maluku Governor in 2016. The study was conducted as part of Marthen’s masters degree at IPB University. The coral reef ecosystems were chosen as an indicator to show the MPA management effectiveness as one of the key MPA conservation targets. The study hypothesised that the management of the Ay and Rhun Islands MPA will have an impact on improvements in the quality of the coral reef ecosystems.
This study aimed to evaluate the spatial and temporal trends of the coral reef ecosystems status before and after the establishment of the Ay and Rhun Islands MPA; calculate the economic value of coral reef ecosystems in the MPA based on reef fish stocks; and evaluate the management effectiveness of the MPA based on the quality of coral reef ecosystems before and after MPA establishment. The research was conducted from August to November 2018 at four observation stations within the MPA. The study also used secondary data from the Coral Triangle Center’s surveys and monitoring. The primary data was collected when the study was conducted.
The Point Intercept Transect (PIT) method was used for benthic data collection, and an Underwater Visual Census (UVC) was conducted to record reef fish data. Semi-structured interviews and purposive sampling methods were used to obtain data of reef fish catches by fishing communities. Analysis of coral reef data was done by analyzing the percentage of live coral cover, coral mortality index, and correspondence factorial analysis. Analysis of reef fish was operated by analyzing abundance, biomass, tropic status, reef fish size and correspondence factorial analysis. Economic value analysis of the coral reefs based on reef fisheries resources was calculated with the effect of production (EoP) and consumer surplus (CS) approaches.
The results of the analysis showed that the percentage of live coral cover had decreased before 2016, and then increased to 68,79% ( high category) in 2018 after the establishment of the Ay and Rhun Islands MPA. The coral mortality index at Ay and Rhun Islands MPA is relatively low, below 0.10 (close to zero) both before and after the MPA establishment. The results of reef fish abundance and biomass analysis show fluctuation before and after MPA establishment, but consistently within the high and abundant category. Tropic status and sizes composition of reef fish changed before and after Ay and Rhun Islands MPA establishment, but returned to be dominated by carnivore groups and big fish in 2018.
Economic value analysis of the coral reefs showed that the total catch of reef fish from 34 fishermen (respondents) in Ay and Rhun Islands MPA is 23.83 tons of reef fish / km2 / year with a value of USD$230 / km2. The total catch of fishermen in Ay and Rhun Islands shows a high productivity of coral reef ecosystems, but has a low economic value with the price of reef fish per kilogram ranging from Rp.10.000 – Rp. 20.000.
The conclusion of the study shows that there has been a positive trend for coral and reef fish conditions spatially and temporally, as well as fisheries resources productivity. The positive change is an indicator that the Ay and Rhun Islands MPA has been effectively managed at tcertain levels, and has the potential to improve even more.