Follow Us!

Viral Updates from Raja Ampat’s Marine Park Authority by Nikka Gunadharma

Administrator’s note:  I, like all of you, am concerned about what is happening regarding patrolling activities in the MPA’s during the Covid-shutdown.  It’s comforting to know that the patrol teams are still working, at least in some areas.  This is a report from the marine park authority of Raja Ampat.

MPA Ranger Patrol Team ©BLUD UPTD Pengelolaan KKP Kepulauan Raja Ampat

During the first week of May, BLUD UPTD Pengelolaan KKP Kepulauan Raja Ampat conducted patrolling activities (in response to several reports from members of community) during the pandemic, here are the highlights based on the reports I’ve received:

Patro Team member boarding an illegal fishing boat, called a bagan ©BLUD UPTD Pengelolaan KKP Kepulauan Raja Ampat

  1. On the 01st of May, the patrol team (consisting of four rangers) patrolled the Dampier Strait MPA’s waters, and they’ve found a fishing boat (bagan) with 6 crew members from Sorong. The patrol team spoke to the boat crews and explained about the MPA, and managed to drive them out of the MPA. They have also dispatched a warning for the owner, telling him that they will pull the boat out if he insists on doing what he does within the MPA.
  2. On the 06th of May, the patrol team (along with the village government, district government, and some personnel from the nearest military cantonment, the KORAMIL) managed to locate and confiscate 3 small boats with compressor and diving tanks nearby Arefi, who were fishing for sea cucumber, lobster, and sea snail.

MPA Ranger, Immanuel Mofu, records details of the interview with the illegal pagans crew. ©BLUD UPTD Pengelolaan KKP Kepulauan Raja Ampat

3.  Another patrol was conducted on Monday, 11th of May 2020, using the speedboat “Mantaray”, which carried a total of four rangers of the Marine Park Authority. The patrol started at   08.00 local time focusing on the waters around Waisai – Yeben Village – Tanjung Putus; all of which were part of the Dampier Strait MPA. At approximately 10.30 local time, the rangers located a fishing boat (bagan), conducting activity in the water between Tanjung Putus and Pef Island. The rangers quickly approached and boarded the bagan. Once on board, they interviewed all nine crew members of the boat. According to one crew member, the boat owner owns a business in grouper cultivation (aquaculture) and lives in Waisai. The crew member stated that they’d been there for two nights, and they could catch up to 500kg per night. Based on the rangers’ observation, they found  approximately 500kg worth of catch, mostly pelagic fish and puri (silversides or baitfish). After informing the crew regarding the MPA’s zoning and do’s and don’ts, the rangers managed to drive the bagan out of Dampier Strait MPA; fortunately they cooperated without incident. Aboard “Mantaray”, the rangers monitored the bagan as it sailed towards Teluk Kabui (Waigeo), before departing and arriving back at Waisai at around 14.30 local time.

Patrol Team boat alongside the much larger illegal fishing boat, called a bagan ©BLUD UPTD Pengelolaan KKP Kepulauan Raja Ampat

Bottom line: The marine park authority are still conducting patrols even though their frequency has been reduced due to the financial difficulties involved with this pandemic; they’re still on it.  More details to follow…stay safe and keep the faith.
Nikka Amanda Gunadharma is the Raja Ampat Communication & Outreach Coordinator for Conservation International, Indonesia.
About the Author