The latest report released by the collaboration between the World Resources Institute, USAID Coral Triangle Support Partnership, WWF, The Nature Conservancy, and Conservation International which has been assisting in field implementation of the Coral Triangle Initiative in six countries reveals that 85% of coral reefs corals in this triangular region are threatened by human activities.
The report entitled Reefs at Risk Revisited in the Coral Triangle also states, if the three threats above are combined with coral bleaching due to algae death, which is caused by rising seawater temperatures, then the percentage of threats to coral reefs becomes 90% of the entire Coral Triangle area. This.
Other results reveal that research into the effectiveness of the existing coverage and management of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Coral Triangle found that 16 percent of the region’s coral reefs are within MPA areas, which is substantially lower than the global average of 28 percent; Less than one percent of MPAs in the Coral Triangle were found to be fully effective at reducing threats such as overfishing and destructive fishing.
Alan White, a contributor to this report and senior scientist at The Nature Conservancy and partner in CTSP, notes that “While there is room for improvement in increasing the effectiveness of MPAs, especially large Marine Protected Areas which require significant resources to manage, much progress has been made. has been made in building awareness about coral reef protection at the local level and providing communities with the tools and resources to manage the coral reefs on which they depend.”
The Reefs at Risk Revisited in the Coral Triangle report informs the activities of the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF), a multilateral partnership formed in 2009 by six Coral Triangle countries to promote sustainable fishing, increase managing MPAs, strengthening climate change adaptation, and protecting threatened species in the region.
From Sabang to Merauke, the coral reefs of my homeland are destroyed
The condition of the damage to Indonesia’s coral reefs until July 2012 was still quite worrying, even though marine conservation efforts continued to be carried out in various territorial waters of the country. Damage to coral reefs is caused by various causes, ranging from fishing with explosives, various mine wastes that enter the sea, as well as the impact of global warming in the country which also accelerates the loss of coral reefs in Indonesian waters.
This damage stretches from the western side of Indonesia to the easternmost side. Director of Walhi Bangka Belitung (Babel) Ratno Budi said, based on the results of several scientific research conducted by the institution on concentrations of underwater activity, including coral reefs, recovery would take a long time. “If the condition of the coral reefs on the coast of Sungailiat has been destroyed, then we can be sure that the hope for the world of tourism is very worrying,” said Ratno to Bangka Pos. He explained, if there are tourists who complain about not diving in this area due to the disruption of suction boat mining, then of course this is good input for the government.
Meanwhile, from Padang, West Sumatra, a marine science expert from Bung Hatta University, Yempita Effendi, acknowledged that the growth of coral reefs in West Sumatra waters was relatively slow. While the cause of the damage is quite a lot. Therefore, an alternative to reduce sea waves in the short term is to maintain and grow mangrove forests or mangroves. Nevertheless, Yempita stated that currently, the condition of the coral reefs along the coast of West Sumatra was still good. “About 85% of coral reefs in West Sumatra are still in good condition. These coral reefs can reduce the power of tsunami waves by around 50 percent,” he said.
Ambal, 56, one of the RT heads on the coast in Padang, said the coastal area in Padang is not suitable for mangrove forests. Which allows, maintaining coral reefs. “We can work together with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to revive coral reefs that have started to get damaged,” he said. Even though it is considered slow, using two protectors is still better according to Yempita, “Using coral reefs can reduce the strength of 50 percent, but after multiplying it with mangroves it can reduce the strength of a tsunami by around 60 percent,” he said.
Similar conditions were also found on the island of Java. From Central Java, the Karimun Jawa islands also suffered quite severe damage. Head of Karimun Jawa National Park, F Kurung explained, “The damage to coral reefs was not only caused by natural factors, but also by human activities in the past. The existence of Tiu coral reefs is very vital as a marine ecosystem. Apart from making fish feel at home and breeding, it is also the most attractive marine tourism object for tourists. “If coral reefs are maintained, the positive effects will also reach the community,” he explained to Suara Merdeka.
Erjono added, apart from fishing with explosives, coral reefs were also damaged by poisons and the effects of ‘global warming’. Toxins and global warming have a wider impact than explosives. Because the effects resulting from both take place slowly and evenly. “First, the coral reefs will turn white, then it’s just a matter of waiting for them to die,” Erjuno added. The East Java Provincial Government itself added Erjono, has been making efforts to improve it since 10 years ago. However, because the growth of coral reefs is very slow, the results cannot be felt optimally at this time.
In South Sulawesi, three areas of coral reefs are the mainstay of marine biota breeding. However, as the human need for marine products such as fish increases, so does the damage to coral reefs. From data from the South Sulawesi Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Service, the level of damage to coral reef areas has reached 55%. The worst damage was in three areas, namely Spermonde Islands in the Makassar Strait, Taka Bonerate in Selayar Regency, and Pulau Sembilan in Sinjai Regency.
The damage is due to fishing patterns that are not environmentally friendly to multiply yields, for example, the use of bombs and potassium by traditional fishermen is the biggest cause of damage to coral reefs. Apart from being a breeding ground for marine animals, coral reefs which cover an area of 5,970 km2 are also marine parks that have been used for ecotourism. Especially in the Taka Bonerate area whose beauty is in the third world category and attracts many domestic and foreign tourists.
From data from the Directorate of Water Police for South and West Sulawesi (Sulselbar) Regional Police, from 2008 to May 2009, they handled 19 cases of abuse of explosives, fishing with potassium cyanide, most of them have been doing this for years.
The results are multiplied if using explosives or potassium is more tempting than catching fish with fishing rods or nets, making the perpetrators keep doing it, generally, they use motorized boats and work in groups. One bottle of explosives has an estimated radius of 7-10 meters. If you want a lot of results, blow up around the reef which is a shelter for fish ranging from small to adult fish.
Responding to the current devastation of coral reefs in various parts of Indonesia, Ari Rondonuwu from the Faculty of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs at Sam Ratulangi University, in a coral reef seminar held by the Bunaken Marine National Park last April, stated that from LIPI research data, only 30 percent of coral reefs are deep good condition, 37 percent in moderate condition, and 33 percent badly damaged. Monitoring of coral reefs was carried out in 77 areas spread from Sabang to the Raja Ampat Islands.
Meyti Mondong from Conservation International Indonesia said that the destruction of coral reefs was carried out by some coastal communities who caught fish using bombs and potassium. This happened a lot in Eastern Indonesia.