...where scuba diving is daily routines..
We love scubadiving, really love it. Our friend and our customers enjoy much of our dive trip around Taka Bonerate archipelago. In between our happiness of enjoying this, we also seen some factual facts that made us sad. Our lovely ocean, with its fishes, coral, the ecosystem, are hurted by human activities. We heard about shark finning, whale hunting, bambu laut heavy exploitation, fish catching by using bomb and cyanide, etc. Some are happens not in our area, some indeed happens in our area. This is very sad as Taka Bonerate archipelago is already been formalized by Indonesia government as Marine Protected Zone, places where nobody can take anything underwater for whatever reason. Many efforts has been planned and some are still on going, some are big efforts, some are small efforts, to ensure the sustainability and long life of this conservation area.
Start thinking from those concerns, all Tinabo Island Dive Resort also wanted to contribute small efforts for protecting the ocean. As by protecting it, that also means in the long run we as a scubadiver will enjoy it more. We realize that we don't have big fund and not supported by sponsor, so big effort is not our target. We planned to do things which we know that we have the resource for that. For that reason we then put our base from our lovely small island, Tinabo Island.
Compare to some other islands next to Tinabo Island, our island has more soft and hard coral underwater. You can guess, that means a lot of fish there, lobster, nudibranches, shrimps, cuttlefish, etc, without diving quite far from the island. That richness attracted local fishermen to do fishing here, as they knew that if they do fishing around their island they could not get fish easily anymore, as the coral already bombed or poisoned by their fishermen friends. So to protect our area we put some efforts, by floating some styrofoam cube boxes, tied with plastic rope around the rim of Tinabo island, make a border line on the surface of the water, 200 meters from the beach. This border spans 300 meters to the left and right of the end of jetty. It's the water surface mark that give signs to fishermen that they should not cross the line to catch fishes. We've been educated them about it for more than a year already.
On the other side we did socialization to local fishermen about the advantage of doing conservation for and its impact to their life. As the food diet in South Sulawesi mostly are sea food, fish, we can not ask them not to catch the fishes but ask them not to exploit it heavily by using bomb and cyanide. We also educated them to have Marine Protected Zone near their island. It doesn't have to be a big area, say 200 meters time 200 meters is more than enough, as long as they consistenly protecting it. By having that, hopefully there will be many big and healthy soft and hard coral, which also means many good parental stock of fish there. Fish will be getting bigger there and healthy, so they will produce baby fishes more than other smaller parental fish. After some times, off course the fish population will be quite high and they will roam around the Marine Protected Zone. When they go out of the zone, it's the right of the local people to catch it. By having that kind of restocking area, they will always have food supply for any season in a year.
Most of the local fishermen were understand of this good will, mostly the senior ones. The village's chief realised that the idea has many benefits for their community also. However, there are always some naughty fishermen where they do not care of it, as long as they can get more fish, they can convert it to money quickly, easy money for them. They always try to enter Protected Zone and catch fish from there or use bomb somewhere. For that reason, we work together with marine ranger (Indonesian language: Jagawana), to remind them and give warning letter to them and his village's chief. Few times happens, Jagawana caught them and brought them to local police office, for doing harm things, as they use bomb to catch the fish.
Go back to our field work to make the surface border, we now want to extend it, to be total 600 meters to the left and right of jetty. We hope this can conserve more coral around the area, attract lots of sea creatures, become the role model for other fisherman village on how to make a restocking fish zone, and end of the result will give benefit our guest when do diving here, as they don't need to dive quite far, just do beach-entry and find lots of nudibranches, batfishes, lobsters, etc, easier and easier every day...!!
To ensure we made progress, we've been doing coral monitoring and evaluation several times in a year. Recently, we did it on 26th June 2010 for a few weeks. One group of divers dove around Tinabo Island and another group around Latondu Island. In total, we monitor for about 32 divespots, observe the creatures and corals, note it, do sampling, take photograph, measure the coverage of coral, and compare it with previous data.
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