Tempo 8 Nov 16;
TEMPO.CO, Kendari - A large number of coral reef ecosystems in Southeast Sulawesi have suffered heavy damages. The condition is evident in the region's low levels of hard coral coverage and high rubble and elevated sedimentation rate. Damages are mainly caused by increasing nickel mining activities in the region.
Another threat surfacing in the region is the blooming of the Crown of Thorns (Acanthaster planci), a species of thorny starfish, which growth rate reaches up to 30 species based on data sample of a biophysical study conducted in Southeast Sulawesi on October 14 to October 25, 2016.
In addition, the prevalent use of bombs also pose severe threats to the coral ecosystem in the region. Even worse, the expedition team discovered that in coastal villages, some people continues to turn to coral as foundation of their house.
Despite all of the threats, the Southeast Sulawesi coastal ecosystem is expected to fully recover. In several locations, the expedition team noted a significant growth of new corals (small, hard corals), high levels of hard corals coverage, schools of unicorn fish and yellowtail baracuda, and a wide range of protected species, such as hawksbill turtles, green sea turtles, leatherback turtles, whales, whale sharks, dolphins, and manta ray.
"To optimize the marine conservation area network plan in Southeast Sulawesi, a biophysical study has been done to evaluate the correlation between areas. The study has resulted in a recommendation for the establishment of three groups of marine conservation areas in the province, in which the Lasolo Bay Marine Park (TWAL) and Southeast Sulawesi Marine Protected Area (MPA) belong to one of the groups," said Anung Wijaya, Conservation and Rehabilitation staffer of the Southeast Sulawesi Marine and Fishery Department, also a member of the expedition team.
Imam Mustofa, Sunda Banda Seascape and Fisheries Leader of WWF-Indonesia, said that "the expedition is one of WFF-Indonesia’s efforts to support the establishment of Southeast Sulawesi MPA. The commitment must be followed through by carrying out more intensive, strategic conservation efforts to transform the area into an MPA, to preserve marine ecosystem, and to boost sustainable social-economic benefits to society."
Explosives, Sedimentation Damage Southeast Sulawesi's Underwater Ecosystems
Ratri M. Siniwi Jakarta Globe 9 Nov 16;
Jakarta. Southeast Sulawesi, as part of the Coral Triangle, is home to Indonesia's most unique marine biodiversity, but major degradation of its coral reefs has taken its toll.
According to the Economic and Natural Resources Secretariat, Southeast Sulawesi has potential catches of up to 542,000 tons of fish annually. To unlock this opportunity, the province has been trying to figure out what has gone wrong in its waters.
During the 12-day Southeast Sulawesi Expedition, the World Wide Fund for Nature Indonesia found that the waters in the region are under threat due to an overpopulation of Crown of Thorns starfish, which prey on corals, damaging the ecosystem.
On top of that, the organization also found that the rampant use of explosives to stun fish has caused coral reefs to degrade, with sedimentation from nickel mining also considered to have caused further damage.
However, the expedition did not only bring bad news but also came up with possible solutions for the recovery of ecosystems in Southeast Sulawesi's waters.
"We have optimized a plan for a network of marine conservation areas in Southeast Sulawesi, implemented through a biophysical environment study to assess the link between the areas," Anung Wijaya, conservation and rehabilitation officer at the Southeast Sulawesi Marine and Fisheries Agency, said in a statement on Tuesday (08/11).
He added that study results recommended three groups of marine conservation area networks in the province. This include the Tesuk Lasolo Marine Park and Southeast Sulawesi Marine Conservation Area.
"Currently, the status of the Southeast Sulawesi Marine Conservation Area is at the preparation stage for a management plan and zoning area. Hopefully, a decision by the Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs will be concluded soon," Anung said.
Coral recruitment, or the process of tiny coral larvae attaching and establishing themselves in reef communities, was also found to be prevalent in the coastal ecosystems, proving that there are signs of recovery on the reefs.
However, WWF Indonesia believes the good news can only become better if conservation efforts intensify.
"The commitment of changing the status [of the Southeast Sulawesi Marine Conservation Area] requires intensive and strategic conservation efforts, for the sake of preserving marine ecosystems, and an increase in social benefits as well as a sustainable economy for the community," said Imam Mustafa, WWF Indonesia leader for the Sunda Banda Seascape and Fisheries.
WWF: Sulawesi Coral Reefs Under Serious Threat
TEMPO 14 Nov 16;
TEMPO.CO, Kendari - A large number of coral reefs' ecosystem in the waters of Southeast Sulawesi is in a bad condition. Based on the Southeast Sulawesi Expedition report conducted by the WWF-Indonesia, the damages are shown from its low level of hard coral layers and the high amount of the coral rubble and its sedimentation level.
“Southeast Sulawesi waters is under serious threats caused by the increased nickel mining activities in the province,” said Estradivari, WWF-Indonesia Marine Conservation Coordinator, on Sunday, November 13, 2016.
There are other factors threatening the livelihood of the coral reefs, such as the blooming of crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) that reached 30 activities per location based on the October 14-25 data. The use of explosives that reached seven explosions in one location is also the problem. “Meanwhile, (our) team can still observe the uses of coral reefs as building foundations in a number of coastal villages,” Estra said.
Conservation and Rehabilitation Staff of the Marine and Fishery Agency, Southeast Sulawesi Province, AnungWijaya said that the agency has conducted a biophysical study in observing the inter-regions relation in order to optimize the network of conservation areas in Southeast Sulawesi waters.
The result of this study suggests the establishment of three groups of marine protected area networks in the province. “Lasolo Bay Marine Nature Park (TWAL) and the Southeast Sulawesi Province Regional Aquatic Conservation Area (KKPD) are a part of the groups,” Aanung said.
Tempo 8 Nov 16;