10 Sep Surveillance Tools Strengthen Community Stewardship Group’s (Pokmaswas) Role in Marine Conservation

Good news from our marine protected areas in Maluku and North Maluku Province. Due to their prominence among other groups in conducting community-based sea surveillance, two Community Stewardship Groups (Pokmaswas) have recently received support in the form of equipment from the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF). The first was received by Pokmaswas Hena Berkarya, South Buano Village, West Seram Regency, Maluku Province, and the second received by Pokmaswas Tanjung Deko Waisum Village, Sula Islands Regency, North Maluku Province.

Robeth Hutuely, on behalf of Pokmaswas Hena Berkarya, received two handheld transceiver units from the MMAF on August 31, 2020, in Ambon, Maluku Province. The communication tools are given to support surveillance in West Seram waters and their surroundings, so the group will promptly report any fisheries law violations they encounter during patrols.

Meanwhile, in Ternate, North Maluku Province, La Nafsahu Idrus on behalf of Pokmaswas Tanjung Deko received a fiberglass boat with 15 HP outboard engine, a printer-scanner, a laptop, and an underwater camera, handed over by Hendrik Sombo, the head of the Sub-section for Utilization and Conservation of the Loka PSPL Sorong under the Directorate General of Marine Spatial Planning (PRL), MMAF.

According to Hendrik Sombo, Pokmaswas Tanjung Deko was identified as very active and highly engaged in marine conservation and marine mammal protection. It makes the group eligible to be granted the KOMPAK (Kelompok Masyarakat Penggerak Konservasi – Community mobilizing group for conservation) aid package. “We do hope that the aid package will support them to maintain regular monitoring, documentation, and reporting activities”, Mr. Sombo said.

The achievements made by Pokmaswas Hena Berkarya and Pokmaswas Tanjung Deko have proven the success of the USAID Sustainable Ecosystems Advanced (USAID SEA) project intervention in Buano Islands, Maluku Province, and Sula Islands, North Maluku Province. Their good performance is considered the result of intensive training and mentoring conducted through the USAID SEA project through the implementing partner Coral Triangle Center (CTC). Moreover, both Pokmaswas Hena Berkarya and Pokmaswas Tanjung Deko are led by Pejuang Laut or Sea Champions who are the key actors in driving conservation actions in their respective areas. The Pejuang Laut have been trained and equipped with knowledge about marine protected areas and endangered, threatened and protected marine animals.

CTC Senior Project Manager Hesti Widodo said that Pokmaswas is the key to monitoring conservation areas.

Pokmaswas is leading the way in marine conservation efforts in Maluku and North Maluku provinces. We are very proud and pleased that the training and capacity building carried out from the start of the project for stakeholders have shown positive results that will lead to the long-term sustainable management of marine and fisheries resources. We hope that Pokmaswas will continue to inspire various members of the community to care for oceans. -Hesti Widodo, CTC

Photo credit by Loka PSPL Sorong and Roberth Hutuely

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