The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our community partners in Les, North Bali, and Banggai island, Sulawesi

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our community partners in Les, North Bali, and Banggai island, Sulawesi

It has been three months since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, also reaching remote communities in the areas where we work. It has affected our community partners in different ways. Since late March 2020, the marine aquarium fishers in Les village have had less orders, and therefore significantly less income, and there have been almost no international flights coming out of Bali, so no cargo has been shipped anywhere. The fishers are starting to face a hard life, and they are struggling to put food on the table for their families. Working at the Aquaculture Centre with us has helped them a little bit, and friends of LINI have supported the fishers’ families by providing rice, cooking oil, and eggs for them, and milk for the younger children. 

Despite all the uncertainty, we still continue with all aspects of our fieldwork that do not require us to attend or organize any gatherings. We try to practice physical distancing, wearing masks, and maintain a high level of hygiene at the Centre.

The monitoring of the restored reefs has still been conducted every month. During our monitoring this May, we encountered coral bleaching at depths of 5 meters to 20 meters, and bleaching has also been reported on neigbouring reefs along the North coast of Bali.    

Our community partner Yayasan KALI in Banggai, and the fisherfolks in Banggai, continue to restore the habitat of the Banggai cardinalfish (BCF), and regularly conduct monitoring of the BCF populations in Bone Baru. They celebrated Earth Day with the planting of mangrove seedlings, which will increase the area for fish to breed in and protect the coastline from erosion.  While the Bone Baru villagers continue with their conservation work, the Octopus fishers of Popisi village in North Banggai have not been so lucky, as their Octopus fishing activities have stopped almost completely. The Octopus fishers must try and find alternative jobs, such as labours and construction workers, at a time when so very many other poor people are out of work.

We will continue to support these communities as best we can but hope that anyone wanting to give donations to help them will do so. All donations will go directly to the villagers who are working with us on the community- based conservation projects. Thank you again for your interest and support! 

Update of Reef Restoration Research in the LATC

Update of Reef Restoration Research in the LATC

We are very pleased to know that our reef restoration program continues receiving technical support from various institutions. In September 2019, M. Abrar, a coral scientist from Research Centre for Oceanography – the Indonesian Institute of Science, and Prof. Dr. Bert Hoeksema from the Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, Leyden visited and dived at the sites. M Abrar assisted us in identifying natural coral recruitment on our coral restoration sites. 

A group photo before diving with M. Abrar (left), Prof. Dr. Bert Hoeksema (middle) and our instructor Yunaldi (right)

Since January 2019, with support from the CORAL Alliance, we have been monitoring natural recruitment of hard corals on the surfaces of the fishdomes and rotibuaya, and survivability of coral fragments tied to the ‘hexaframes’ (metal frames coated in sand, originally called “spiders”). We will continue to study and monitor our reef restoration with support from our interns and community conservation groups from the Tejakula sub-District area. 

12 months after the coral tied on hexaframes (Photo: Yunaldi and Nyka)

In January 2020, our long-term supporters, Colin Christian and Louisa from Fishkeeper Scotland, came to visit and helped in deploying new artificial reef structures. Since June 2019, Colin has developed an “Adopt a coral” program to support our reef restoration efforts. Their support has contributed towards our monitoring and expansion of the program.

Colin Christian and Loisa visit the LATC (Photo: Yunaldi)
Intern Rim and Chevien planted coral for adopt coral project (Photo: Yunaldi)

We continue seeking help from others who would like to support our program. We also encourage students to contact LINI if they are interested in our program, because they will not only learn about reef conservation, but also connect with various stakeholders who come to our Centre. We believe that every effort we make to find solutions to help to preserve the marine ecosystem requires strong connections among all the people involved.

[EVENT] Eco Freediving Camp

[EVENT] Eco Freediving Camp

The 2020 inaugural Eco Freediving Camp is proudly presented by Anak Pacific and Yayasan Alam Indonesia Lestari (LINI). We have joined forces in collaboration as a freediving and underwater photography centre and a community development and sustainable fisheries NGO. Together we are offering the Indonesia’s first ever marine conservation and freediving course. 

What makes this course extraordinary? During the camp you will be trained to become a freediver, diving from 12 to 20 meters with a single breath, as well as a marine conservationist! You will also learn about reef restoration and basic aquaculture technique, which is going to be useful. This camp will be conducted in LINI Aquaculture Training Centre (LATC) located in Tejakula, Bali. We believe building a healthy relationship with the ocean is a personal adventure, so you can get the best out of this experience. Our camp is exclusively limited only for eight participants. 

The Eco Freediving Camp is a call for environmentalists and freedivers of all levels to manifest the changes they want to see in the world. Come together and discover how freedivers can be a positive force in our blue planet. 

For further information, feel free to download this e-brochure. Any question? Please contact Rayhan on +62 8131 490 09 201 or send an email at anakpacific@gmail.com 

Banda handline tuna fishers attended training on how to release live seabirds caught on fishing lines

Banda handline tuna fishers attended training on how to release live seabirds caught on fishing lines

Fishers who catch yellowfin tuna with handlines in the Banda Sea look for birds and dolphins as signs of the presence of tuna. Although the handline fisheries have little impact on interactions with Endangered, Threatened, or Protected (ETP) species, there is evidence that some seabirds are being caught on the handlines. Examples of this were captured using time-lapse cameras (TLC), installed during August – October 2018 and March-May 2019.  From 317 fishing trips, three interactions with seabirds were recorded in 2018. 

Interaction with seabirds

On 20 and 27 December 2019, we conducted training in the Banda Islands on live seabird releases. 44 fishers/boat captains attended the training. Fishers were trained on how to release the birds and avoid seabird interactions. 

We would like to thank the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP) staff who provided training materials about Hook Removal from Seabirds.

Poster showing the method of hook removal from seabird (Source: ACAP, click here to see the original poster)

After the training, the Tuna Banda Stakeholder Forum distributed boat licenses (BPKP and PAS KECIL) to tuna fishers in Waer village, Combir village and Kampung Baru village. This was a form of compliance with a Decree of the Governor of Maluku (Peraturan Gubernur Maluku No. 42a Tahun 2017) and a Decree of  Fisheries Office of Maluku decree (DKP Maluku No 523.3/1026/18k Tahun 2018). 

Gearing up to expand our internship program in 2020

Gearing up to expand our internship program in 2020

We started our internship program in 2016, with our aquaculture of marine reef fish and reef restoration in the LINI Aquaculture and Training Centre (LATC), at Les village in North Bali. The program is dedicated to offering Indonesian fresh graduates from fisheries, marine science, aquaculture backgrounds the chance to experience working on a wide range of fisheries and marine conservation issues. Interns will stay at the Centre for at least three months, although many of them extend their internships.

To date there have been 22 interns who graduated from the LINI internship program, with work experience covering captive breeding of the Banggai Cardinalfish, clownfish, preparing green-water and rotifer plankton cultures, building artificial structures for reef restoration, and monitoring the mortality and recruitment of corals on the structures. 

Recently, we expanded our internship program to include our organic garden and education. Amel graduated from Gajah Mada University, Yogyakarta, and Ade from Udayana University, Bali, during the period of September – December 2019, and they both took part in this new program. Amel learned about organic gardening, and Ade helped in educational outreach in the local schools at Les village.

The aim of expanding the program is to explore a wider range of activities for interns in the Centre, and also to help the local community. In 2020, we plan to offer the internship program not only in our Centre in North Bali but also at our field project site in Banggai Island, Central Sulawesi and in Banda Islands in Maluku. Stay tuned for the next news from LINI. We wish you all a happy prosperous new year! 

Amel (left) and Ade (right) helping each other to make the Centre green (photo: Nyka)
Ade and Amel attaching some information posters (photo: Nyka)