Kalumbatan and Lobuton Octopus Fishers Restore Their Coral Reefs and Implement Temporary Closure

Kalumbatan and Lobuton are two villages that situated on the island of Salakan, Central Sulawesi Province. The Island is the biggest island in the Banggai Archipelago, and lies in the Wallacea region. The island has a high faunal endemicity, including birds, mammals and the endangered Banggai Cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni).  

LINI has been working with octopus fishers in the area since 2019 to assist them to understand the concept of locally managed marine areas. The fishers have learned the importance of data collection, and have used the data to conserve their coral reefs, and to identify areas for temporary closure as part of their community-based fishery management. 

After 3 years, today, on October 15, the fishers’ groups of Kalumbatan and Lobuton have declared temporary closure of their fishing areas for 3 months until January 2023, where all fishing activities, not only for octopus will be prohibited until they agree to open the areas again. In these temporary closure areas, over 100 artificial reef structures are deployed, aiming to restore damaged reefs.

We are very happy with what the fishers and the local Government of Banggai Archipelago have done. They have collaborated by developing locally-managed marine areas and restoring reefs. We hope that these collaborative management efforts will continue to make fishery management and coral reef conservation part of their program.

By Gayatri Reksodihardjo-Lilley