12 Mar Surveillance And Resource Use Monitoring (RUM) Survey in Lease Islands Marine Protected Area (MPA)

The Coral Triangle Center (CTC) recently conducted another bi-monthly surveillance and RUM survey in the Lease Islands MPA.  This regular survey involved a collaboration with multiple governmental agencies and local communities, aiming to strengthen law enforcement, promote the adoption of sustainable practices, and discourage harmful activities within the local small-scale fishermen, private sectors, and tourism operators.

On February 23rd, 2024, a team of 10 members embarked on a boat journey to conduct another bi-monthly surveillance and RUM around the Lease Islands MPA.  This activity aims to conduct monitoring and data collection of marine and coastal resource utilization, both mobile and fixed, and increase interaction between the MPA management unit and the marine resource users. The team also used this activity to socialize regulations about Lease Islands MPA conservation. Starting from Mahu village, the team departed in early morning traveling the waters and circling the MPA to monitor resource utilizations. This collaborative effort involved CTC, Department of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Maluku Province (PSDKP), Gugus Pulau VII of DKP Maluku Province, Baileo Maluku, Mahu Village Monitoring Team, the customary institution (kewang) of Mahu and Ihamahu village, and the local community surveillance group (Pokmaswas). 

Evidence from the navigation showed there were 39 utilizations throughout February 2024: 31 mobile utilization (all small-scale fishers) and eight fixed utilizations (encompassed four rumpons or FADs and four ports). This suggested a significant utilization increase compared to those in November 2023 with 17 mobile and 8 fixed utilizations. Seven fishers from both within and outside of Lease Islands MPA were found to conduct violations by engaging in activities within the core zone. Some of them were aware of the conservation purposes of the core zone but did not know its exact zoning boundaries. Others claimed they did not know about the core zone and its conservation purposes. 

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. Therefore, regular monitoring activities, installation of signage within the core zone to delineate boundaries, and socialization of regulations are crucial to inform fishers to understand the importance of protecting Lease Islands MPA. 

The one-day survey was successful, and the bright weather conditions allowed the team to cover all monitoring areas within the MPA. Data collection process utilizing the “Kobocollect” application functioned well, and it was recommended to train other Lease Islands MPA managers, personnel, and monitoring team members.

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. 

Writers: Olivia Sope, Purwanto, Gerald Istia
Photo: Laode Junaidin/CTC


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