28 Dec Surveillance and Resource Utilization Monitoring (RUM) in Ay Island and Rhun Island MPA and Lease Islands MPA

Since 2018, the Coral Triangle Center (CTC) and Maluku Province Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Office have been monitoring marine and fisheries resource utilization in conservation areas. This activity is intended to ensure sustainability and regulatory compliance, increasing interaction between conservation area management units and resource users.

Along with the Banda Island Cluster VI Service Branch, CTC recently conducted surveillance and resource utilization monitoring (RUM) in the Banda Islands MPA Networks which cover the Ay-Rhun MPAs and Lease MPA. Surveillance and Resource Utilization Monitoring (RUM) is one activity for monitoring resource utilization in coastal and marine areas, aiming to ensure that all types of utilization are conducted sustainably. These monitoring activities ran from November to December 2023 and involved partners from PSDKP Banda, Navy Post Banda, Babinsa of Rhun Island Village and Banda Post Coastal Fishing Port.

In November, CTC teamed up with the Banda Sub-Regional Islands Cluster VI, Maluku Province Marine, Fisheries Office, and members of the Banda Surveillance Forum, successfully conducted Surveillance and RUM in the Ay-Rhun MPAs.

Evidence from the surveillance and RUM in Ay-Rhun MPAs showed that the Ay-Rhun MPAs experienced a significant increase in mobile utilization in November, primarily involving 14 fishing fleets, 2 tourist fleets, and 1 commercial boat from Wakatobi. 

Additionally, fixed utilization increased significantly, reaching 9 fleets, with a dominance of Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs), indicating a significant development in marine activities. Compliance with regulations was found to be 94.44 percent during the specified period, but no violations were reported during independent surveillance conducted by Pokmaswas Ay-Rhun Island.

In the following month, the same activities were conducted in Lease Island MPA to ensure that all resource users in marine and coastal areas are not using destructive fishing gear. There, CTC collaborated with other stakeholders, including the Marine and Fisheries Department of Island Cluster VII in the Lease Islands, and Kewang representatives (the customary law institutions) or district staff.

In 2023, five monitoring and RUM activities were conducted in the Lease Islands MPA, involving area managers, supervisory community groups, district/village governments, and cultural groups. 

RUM activities covered coastal and marine areas on Saparua Island, parts of Haruku Island, Molana Island, and Nusalaut Island. The result reveals that there are 21 fixed utilizations such as Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs), ports, nets, and mooring boats. These findings highlight the complex nature of human activities within the MPA and the need for a comprehensive management approach that balances conservation objectives with sustainable resource use.

Effective enforcement measures and community engagement initiatives are crucial to address violations. In addition, continuous monitoring is also necessary to track changes in resource utilization patterns and assess the impact of conservation measures. A collaborative and adaptive management approach can ensure the MPA’s long-term health and resilience, contributing to marine biodiversity preservation and sustainable livelihoods. 

Writer: Arapa Efendi, Kasman
Photos: La Ode Junaidin

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