Patrol Update from Raja Ampat’s Marine Park Authority September, 2021; updated by Allan Ramandey
Patrol Update from Raja Ampat’s Marine Park Authority
Updated by: Allan Fredrik Ramandey*
With Bali preparing to open its international flight in (hopefully) October, and with the national sporting event held in Jayapura, Province of Papua, then it can be expected that Raja Ampat – located in the neighboring province of West Papua – would start to see an increase number of visitors this month.
With that said, we’ve also received some feedbacks from members of the community – whether from e-mail or our social media accounts, asking whether there are other things that the rangers (and Raja Ampat’s Marine Park Authority**) have other things to do besides patrol?
The answer is, “Yes, we do,” and we will start sharing those works in this article and, if there are future activities we will share them, on our next update too. Thank you in advance for the positive feedback, those are the things that will make us better, and more effective in managing seven Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Raja Ampat.
Here are the highlights of our activities for the month of September, 2021. Enjoy!
Asia and Ayau Islands Marine Protected Area
Jaga Laut – the official name of our rangers (in Bahasa Indonesia it can be translated as “Ocean Guardian”) – from Asia and Ayau Islands MPA conducted a total of eight patrols in September, 2021, and found two violations on the 15th and 29th respectively.
On the 15th of September, rangers found a fishermen from Runi Village – one of the villages within the MPA – who caught a green turtle (Chelonia mydas). Rangers then gave him a stern warning, explaining that turtles are protected under laws in various levels; including the local, customary law. The turtle was promptly returned to the water!
The last violation found this month was a zoning violation, when a fishermen was caught fishing in an area called Abor, which is included in the Core Zone of the MPA. Resources Use Monitoring (RUM) data was collected from him, before rangers sent him on his way beyond the aforementioned zone.
Mayalibit Bay MPA
In August, Jaga Laut from Mayalibit Bay MPA conducted a total of six patrols and did not find any violations within the bay or beyond – Mayalibit Bay MPA stretches from the whole bay to some part beyond it. Violations or not, RUM data were collected from all the MPA’s users encountered this month.
On the 29th of September, 2021, Jaga Laut from Mayalibit Bay MPA was joined with representatives from Conservation International (CI) Indonesia and Sebumi.id during one phase of a virtual tour’s production focusing in the biodiversity of Raja Ampat’s and Sorong’s mangrove and lowland forests.
Dampier Strait MPA
A combined total of fifteen patrols were conducted by rangers from both Gam and Yenaduak’s monitoring posts in Dampier Strait MPA. The former did not find any violations this month, although the same cannot be said about rangers from the latter’s monitoring post.
Jaga Laut encountered two violations during September, on the 10th and 17th to be precised. On the 10th, even though a fishing boat was caught with permitted fishing tools, they were caught fishing within the Core Zone – in an area called Hall Mofu. Subsequent to RUM data collection, rangers then provided information in zoning system before directing them to sail away from the mentioned zone.
On the 17th of September, a fishermen deemed to break the zoning rules for fishing in an area called Hall Gergaji, which is under the Traditional Utilization and Sasi Sub-zone. Rangers then provided explanation related to the sub-zone borders and MPA’s zoning system, before directing him to sail away from the sub-zone.
Misool Islands MPA
Misool Islands MPA was patrolled seven times in September by Jaga Laut, and managed to found two violations, which was in 28th and 30th of September respectively. Both of those violations were zoning violation – it’s a term when users conduct utilization activities, which are usually extractive in nature, within particular zone/sub-zone that does not allow such activities to be conducted.
The first violation was when a particular type of fishing boat (in Bahasa Indonesia it was called “bagan”), one that is prohibited to operate within all MPAs in Raja Ampat, anchored nearby the Wayilbatan Island, and was directed to sail away from the MPA afterward. The second violation, 30th of September, was when a fishing boat caught within the Tourism and Food Security Sub-zone – a no take zone, before rangers directed it to sail away from the sub-zone.
Kofiau–Boo Islands MPA
Rangers from Kofiau-Boo Islands MPA patrolled the area nine times during the course of September, and found one violation on the 09th when they caught one fishing boat originated from the South Halmahera Province does not have all the proper licenses. Jaga Laut then provided explanation about MPAs in Raja Ampat, and directed it to sail away from the MPA.
Fam Islands MPA
Fam Islands’ MPA Jaga Laut conducted a total of five patrols this month, and did not find any violations. However, the rangers managed to intercept four fishing boats originated from Sorong, which initially were heading for Bambu Island – a no take zone within the MPA – but got deflected to the MPA’s monitoring post in Meoskor Island instead.
West Waigeo Islands Marine Reserve
Wayag Monitoring Post’s rangers in West Waigeo Islands Marine Reserve conducted a total of four patrols this month, and did not find any violations: all users of the MPA was recorded for RUM data.
For your information, West Waigeo Islands Marine Reserve is formally under the direct authority of the central government’s Ministry of Marine and Fisheries, while Raja Ampat Marine Park Authority provided technical assistances, such as patrol activity and all the related aspects, for this particular MPA.
The Raja Ampat Marine Park’s Authority itself was nested under the West Papua Province Government’s Marine and Fisheries Agency, and formally has authority towards the other six MPAs in Raja Ampat (For more information on Raja Ampat’s MPAs Network, kindly visit www.kkprajaampat.com for Bahasa Indonesia, or www.rajaampatmarinepark.com).
Activity Updates from Our Headquarter in Waisai and Other Activities
So, as we’ve mentioned earlier in this article, we would like to share about our other activities beside regular patrols conducted by our marine park’s rangers. Here are some of those ‘other’ activities in September.
Manta Ray Monitoring in Mayalibit Bay MPA
In collaboration with an non-governmental organization (NGO) operating in Raja Ampat, Jaga Laut from Mayalibit Bay MPA conducted a routine survey from the 06th to 08th of September, 2021, in an area previously indicated as nursery ground for manta rays. Unfortunately, no mantas were found during the three-days-survey.
Early Discussion on Development of Marine and Fisheries Resources’ Monitoring in Northern Coast of Misool Islands
Representatives from West Papua’s Marine and Fisheries Agency, Raja Ampat’s technical unit for Ministry of Marine and Fisheries, Raja Ampat’s Fisheries Agency, Raja Ampat’s Maya Tribe Council, Nazareth of West Papua Foundation, Flora and Fauna International Indonesia, attended a discussion conducted by The Nature Conservancy.
This discussion was opened by the Head of Raja Ampat’s Marine Park Authority, whom conveyed the profile of the institution he led, and continued with the profile of northern coast of Misool Islands. That particular part of Misool was proposed to be the latest MPA under Raja Ampat’s MPA Network.
The efforts towards the designation of Northern Misool MPA had started since 2018 (typically MPA in Indonesia undergoes early initiation phase, participatory zoning system design, zoning and management plan development, reservation by the governor, before finally designated by the Ministry of Marine and Fisheries), and are still ongoing under the leadership of West Papua’s Nazareth Foundation.
Certification of Competence on the Field of MPA’s Management Planning
Ten staffs from Raja Ampat’s Marine Park Authority, most of them were rangers from seven MPAs, attended a certification training, specifically for MPA managers, conducted by the Fisheries Profession’s Certification Institution – an official institution with official ties to the Ministry of Marine and Fisheries.
The four-days training/certification event culminated on the 13th of September, 2021, which was the day of final test and certification that sees all the Raja Ampat Marine Park Authority’s personnel passed all the tests in flying colors; now, they are certified MPA managers (Congratulation, guys!).
This is one of the efforts by the marine park’s authority, in collaboration with one of its non-governmental partners, to constantly develop its human resources’ capacity in order to increase the effectivity in managing the MPAs in Raja Ampat.
Evacuation of Accident’s Victim in Misool Islands MPA
From the 14th until 16th of September, 2021, Jaga Laut from Misool Islands MPA assisted personnel from Sorong’s National Search and Rescue Agency in searching and evacuating on victim of accident at sea, who was a crew of a fishing boat from Sorong.
After two days of searching, including a 57 meters depth of SCUBA diving, the joint team did not be able to locate the victim. However, on the 16th of September, the victim was found floating in the surface, and was directly evacuated to Sorong afterward.
Socialization of Minister of Marine and Fisheries Decree No. 13 of the Year 2021 in Misool Islands MPA
On the 20th of September, 2021, coincided with inauguration event for the Chief of Matlou Tribe, Raja Ampat’s Marine Park Authority and Raja Ampat’s Maya Tribe Council conducted a socialization of the above minister’s decree that mentioned one point about “Other Zone,” in which Misool MPA have.
The category for the new zone fits the two location, Batbitim and Daram islands, designated by the communities as Sasi*** areas, which now are already included within the Restricted Utilization Zone and, according to the latest Minister’s decree, should be specified as “Other Zone” as well as updated in the higher-scale MPA’s map.
The event was attended by representative of the communities from Fafanlap, Yellu, Biga, Harapan Jaya, Magey, Dabatan, and Lilinta villages. It was also attended by representatives from the local authorities and military outposts, and from the pearl company operating nearby the MPA. In general, here are some of the highlights from this gathering:
- Signing of collective agreement above a map that includes two locations of Other Zone, which also located within the Restricted Utilization Zone;
- It is agreed to conduct socialization in other villages in Misool Islands MPA as a follow-up for this event.
- Socialization on the prohibition of the usage of air compressor as fishing tools.
So, Dear Readers, that was the update from September, 2021. We hope that you’d enjoy it and find it useful.
On behalf of Raja Ampat’s Marine Park Authority, we wish you all happiness and fine health! Hope to see you again for our next update.
As always, thanks abundance for your time, attention, and kind support.
* Data and Information Staff for Raja Ampat’s Marine Park Authority
** The official name for Raja Ampat’s Marine Park Authority is Badan Layanan Umum Daerah Unit Pelaksana Teknis Daerah (BLUD UPTD) Pengelolaan Kawasan Konservasi Perairan (KKP) Kepulauan Raja Ampat.
*** “Sasi” can be interpreted as customary prohibition in utilizing particular natural resources as part of the effort to preserve natural resources that aims to preserve the quality and the population of that particular natural resources.