01 Aug Coral Restoration Methods in Nusa Penida MPA

CTC installed underwater structures in the Nusa Penida marine protected area (MPA) to diversify its reef rehabilitation methods. The activity is part of our efforts to restore degraded reefs in the area. 

Over three weeks CTC installed four coral restoration structures around the waters of Nusa Lembongan village, Suana village, and Ped village in early August 2022. These structures included 40 fish domes, 200 reef stars, one masker point, and two sculptures of Gajah Mina – a mythological elephant-headed fish whose role is to protect the ocean in the Balinese Hindu culture. The structure installation is part of the COREMAP-CTI project in the Nusa Penida MPA.

The selection of a mask-shape structure as the masker point has left a distinct impression among locals in Lembongan. For those who love diving, masks are essential for underwater breathing and vision. On the other hand, during the Covid-19 pandemic, people also used masks to cover their mouth and nose, protecting their respiratory system from the spread of coronavirus.

“This structure also represents hardships and resilience that local people used to have throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, we have come out together stronger than ever,” said Mr. Wayan Suarbawa, one of the Nusa Lembongan local leaders.

In Nusa Lembongan, our team carefully assembled a concrete structure in the form of Gajah Mina underwater in collaboration with coral experts, local community surveillance groups (Pokmaswas) and government staff. Prior to this, each part of the structures was gradually mobilized from land to the sea by adhering to necessary safety standards. The team then completed the whole process by attaching coral fragments.

Moreover, the hexagonal sand coated “reef star” structures were installed underwater in Ped village with the help of a local community group called Kelompok Nuansa Pulau. Ped village has become CTC’s main coral restoration site, using the Mars Assisted Reef Restoration System (MARRS). The MARRS has been widely recognized as one of the world’s most effective coral restoration methods that guarantees fast recovery and growth of live hard corals on the reef.

The fish dome structures were chosen to be installed under water in Suana village due to the suitability of water bathymetry conditions (depth), the characteristics of coral species, and the diversity of fish species. The use of fish dome structures will also be beneficial as a shelter for many target fish for local fishermen, thereby supporting the sustainability of traditional fisheries.

To increase local sense of ownership, CTC will further pass on the post-installation maintenance and monitoring processes to community groups in Nusa Lembongan, Ped, and Suana. These three coral reef rehabilitation sites, when properly maintained, have the potential to become new marine tourism destinations in Nusa Penida, supporting diving and snorkeling industries to provide additional income for locals.

The COREMAP-CTI project in the Nusa Penida MPA is being implemented by CTC until the the last quarter of 2022 and aims to improve resource management in the area both at the biophysic and socio economic level.

Photos: Purwanto/CTC, Kasman/CTC & Wira Sanjaya/CTC

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