14 Sep Supporting Coral Restoration in Banda Islands

Destructive fishing, boat anchoring, and natural factors, including high waves during the west and east monsoon winds, have damaged some of the coral reefs in the Banda Marine Tourism Park (TWP Laut Banda). The results of the survey in that area, supported by the Coral Triangle Center (CTC) Coral Reef Restoration Task Force and Mars Sustainable Solution (MSS) in November 2022, showed three possible locations that can be used as coral restoration sites, such as the Banda Miniature Site, the Waters of Walling-Spanciby Village, and Tanah Rata, due to the dominant substrate of rubble and their proximity to live corals.

To restore some of the damaged coral reefs, TWP Laut Banda conducted coral restoration activities using the Mars Assisted Reef Restoration System (MARRS) method on August 22–23, 2023, at the Banda Miniature Site on Neira Island. This activity was supported by CTC in collaboration with other agencies such as Stasiun PSDKP Ambon Satker Banda, Banda Neira University (UBN), LINI Foundation, Kelompok Penggerak Konservasi (KOMPAK), and students from Barracuda Diving Club (BDC).

The installation of Reef Stars underwater involved ten divers and about 30 participants to support the activity. Representatives from the CTC were involved in installing 150 Reef Stars (RS) underwater following the MARRS protocol. Coral reef restoration activities were coupled with the socialization of coral reef restoration activities in the TWP Laut Banda to stakeholders in the Banda Islands.

CTC team also had the opportunity to visit other coral reef restoration sites in the TWP Laut Banda that have been installed since 2015 using various methods such as concrete/piracora, tables, bior-reeftek, and spider (Reef Star mimics). To date, about 3250 coral fragments have been installed in TWP Laut Banda. Coral fragments that have been installed previously grow, become colorful, and start functioning as fish habitats.

“In the future, Reef Stars that have been installed must be maintained regularly so that coral fragments grow large so that coral reef restoration activities can add to the potential of water tourism in the Banda Islands. In addition, I hope this activity can increase the knowledge and awareness of the community about protecting coral reefs.” said Ariefianto Tri Mahadi, Coordinator of the TWP Laut Banda.

Writers: Kasman, Purwanto, Marthen Welly
Photos: Kasman/CTC, Banda Marine Tourism Park 

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