27 Nov Monitoring Reef and Fish Health in the Nusa Penida MPA

From November 21 to 26, 2020, CTC conducted an annual reef health monitoring survey in the Nusa Penida Marine Protected Area (MPA). A total of 14 divers were involved in this activity to collect important data from 14 diving points. The survey was also part of the capacity building for the Bali MPA Management Unit staff – Nusa Penida Team to repeat the same survey next year.

This year marked the 10th anniversary of similar survey being carried out by CTC and the Bali MPA Management Unit, with support from many working partners such as the Lembongan Marine Association, Nusa Penida Divers Group, Lembongan Satya Posana Nusa (SPN) Community Self-help Group, and pools of volunteers. This year, CTC also received support from the Center for Coastal and Marine Resources Management (BPSPL) Denpasar.

All survey dive spots were distributed around Nusa Penida Islands’ waters, from the Ceningan to the Lembongan Bay. The divers took data on coral reef density and the abundance of reef fish at depths of three meters and ten meters. The team came out with a comprehensive analysis of the latest coral health trend and a compilation of data characterizing the MPA’s overall coral reef ecological condition over the past ten years. Furthermore, the results of this survey will serve as valuable information for the Bali MPA Management Unit – Nusa Penida Team in implementing an adaptive management system.

Apart from collecting data on reef and fish health, this survey also aimed to increase the capacity of the Bali MPA Management Unit staff to be able to independently conduct and lead similar biophysical surveys in the future. With this capacity building and skill transfer, it is expected that the management of the Nusa Penida MPA will be improved and become more effective.

Management effectiveness of the Nusa Penida MPA has become a strategic target and priority of the Bali Provincial Government in improving marine ecosystem services, including resilience to climate change, marine tourism, sustainable fisheries, food security, and the welfare of coastal communities. Thus, the existence of the Nusa Penida MPA can bring benefits for the conservation of marine biodiversity as well as an alternative source of income for local residents.

The Nusa Penida MPA is home to some of the most diverse marine ecosystems in the world. The MPA encompasses Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, and aims to protect marine and coastal ecosystems, while safeguarding local livelihoods.

The MPA is managed by the Bali Province Government, with a locally based team who runs the day-to-day management of the MPA. This incredible marine life is drawing a growing number of tourists to the area, with over 300,000 people now visiting annually.

CTC is working with the government and local community groups to help implement the Nusa Penida MPA Zoning System, and manage the challenges the MPA faces, creating a sustainable model for marine and coastal conservation. Recently, CTC has also launched a new site for its Adopt-A-Coral program in Ped Village, Nusa Penida, to support the coral reef rehabilitation process in the area.

Photo credits: Wira Sanjaya, Evi Nurul Ihsan, Kasman

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