07 May New Community Reporting Mechanism Proposed to Ensure Enforcement of Nusa Penida MPA Zoning Regulations

The implementation of resource use monitoring (RUM) and surveillance surveys on May 7, 2021 still found some violations of zoning regulations by local fishers. The result of the surveillance, which was undertaken by the Bali Province Marine Protected Area (MPA) Management Unit in Nusa Penida and supported by CTC, prompted local authorities to develop a reporting mechanism that can be carried out easily by locals, tourists and the public in general to prevent MPA Zoning violations in the future.

Based on the surveillance report, there were three violations being caught by field officers. All of them were related to fishing activities inside the wrong zones. The first violation was committed by two fishermen fishing in the marine tourism zone, and other violations were also committed by fishermen who were caught fishing in the core zone of the Nusa Penida MPA. The officers advised all fishers to stop doing activities inside those zones and directed them to fish in the traditional fishing sub-zone.

In total, there have been more than 20 zoning violations found in the Nusa Penida MPA during 2021. This figure does not include other non-compliance incidents that occurred outside of the scheduled surveillance patrol, as these are difficult to monitor. 

Following the survey, government and community stakeholders agreed to propose the establishment of a new reporting mechanism for violations in the conservation area. This new mechanism will contain required steps so that local community members can legally report MPA zoning violations directly to the appropriate authorities.

While the draft of this newly proposed regulation is being prepared, the Bali Province MPA Management Unit in Nusa Penida and CTC agreed to separate RUM and surveillance survey activities to make them more effective. This is because the usual RUM survey conducted after 08.30 a.m. is ineffective for fisheries data collection, such as the use of fishing gears and targeted fish, due to the incompatibility between the survey and fishing times. Most local fishermen set sail early in the morning, from 05.00 to 08.00 a.m., or before the RUM survey. Surveillance activities, on the other hand, can be carried out at any time.

Fishing activities in the Nusa Penida MPA have been observed to increase lately as locals have sought alternative income to substitute earnings from tourism activities. Tourism has been low since last year after being hit badly by the global COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the capture fishery, most coastal residents in Nusa Lembongan Island – one among three islands in Nusa Penida – also rely on seaweed farming to increase their household income. Consequently, violations of zoning and fishing rules inside the conservation area might increase as there are still many fishers who are not aware of the existing regulations.

Photos by: Kasman/CTC

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