Construction Underway on New Patrol Vessel for Indonesia
WildAid is currently constructing a $35,000 patrol vessel for Daram MPA to strengthen enforcement both within Daram and Batbitim MPAs.
WildAid’s Indonesia program has primarily focused on supporting the efforts of the Misool Eco Resort (MER) to manage the no take zones (NTZ) in Batbitim and Daram- both located within the Southeast Misool MPA in the Coral Triangle. Currently, the MPAs, which are separated by 24.6 nautical miles, share an 85hp aluminum patrol vessel donated by WildAid and other partners in 2010. Because they must share resources, both MPAs lack constant surveillance, allowing poachers to encroach on these zones.
Daram is permanently staffed with 3 rangers, but blast fishers primarily target the area, given its remoteness and relatively short existence as a NTZ (less than one year old). Therefore, the Misool Baseftin Foundation, a branch of MER that currently manages the two MPAs, has designated 10 patrols per month with the large 85hp aluminum patrol vessel and has constructed three base camps with small vessels for each camp supplied with 10hp engines to ensure continuous presence and to lower fuel costs required for constant patrolling. Currently, rangers patrolling Daram must be dropped off and picked up, increasing fuel expenses by US$350 in fuel alone for a roundtrip to Daram. Thus, the new patrol boat reserved for Daram will take some of the pressure off and reduce costs.
WildAid’s Indonesia program is focused on marine protected area enforcement in Southern Raja Ampat, West Papua. Raja Ampat is located in the center of an area known as the Coral Triangle. It has been estimated that Raja Ampat is home to the highest concentration of fish and coral biodiversity found anywhere in the world. The area is geographically isolated and surrounded by open seas, creating an oasis for pelagic fish. The islands of Daram have long beaches, making them ideal turtle nesting areas. The threats facing the area include overfishing by foreigners, destructive fishing practices, turtle/turtle egg harvesting, shark finning, and coral bleaching. They levy extreme damage to the reef systems with net fishing, live reef-fish trade, and even dynamite fishing.
In response, since 2007, WildAid has been working with Coral Reef Alliance, MER, and the Misool Conservation Centre to develop a functional ranger patrol to deter poachers and protect the NTZs. In order to separate the business side of MER with the conservation activities, they formed the Misool Baseftin Foundation, a local NGO to manage the MPAs as well as ensure that the community benefits from protecting their marine resources.