Practical Session for Banggai Cardinalfish Habitat Restoration

The Banggai Cardinalfish (BCF) is an endemic species that is only found in the Banggai Archipelago. The species is a popular marine aquarium fish that has been exploited for the overseas market. The species was listed as endangered by IUCN in 2007. In its natural habitat, the BCF is found associations with various microhabitats such as sea urchins, hard corals, anemones and seagrass beds. The declining populations of the BCF have not only been caused by overexploitation for the marine aquarium trade, but also because of excessive extraction of some of the microhabitats, in which they are found, including  anemones and sea urchins. 

On 21 -22 August 2019 Dit. KKHL, the Ministry of Maritime and Fisheries Affairs, together with LINI, conducted practical sessions for stakeholders.  the sessions included socialisation and rehabilitation practices for the Banggai Cardinalfish Habitats. These activities were conducted in the Labotan Sosodek meeting hall of the Banggai Laut Regency. The event was attended by 38 participants, and included various stakeholders and communities from the Banggai Laut and Banggai Kepulauan Regencies. The activities were aimed at providing information about the importance of protecting the various microhabitats of the BCF and included practical demonstrations – showing  how to rehabilitate the BCF habitats.LINI staff provided the practical sessions. These included anemone fragging (the asexual propagation method) and the construction of artificial reef structures with the Hexaframe design. It is hoped that the communities and stakeholders in the Districts of Bangai Laut and Banggai Kepulauan will now be able to carry out BCF habitat rehabilitation in their respective regions. In this way, with community empowerment and direct involvement, the habitats of the BCF will have a greater chance of being protected and preserved.

Participants constructed Hexaframe and learned to propagate anemone
(photos: Surya and Khalis)

We field-tested our propagation manual for anemones, which was developed by our previous intern, Azen, who conducted anemone propagation in the LATC during his three months internship. The Hexaframe manual was developed for our reef restoration program in collaboration with the Coral Reef Alliance.

Azen doing anemone propagatio (photo: Azen)

LINI offers training on aquaculture and reef restoration which is the result of the lessons learned at the LATC. We are trying to use simple methods and materials that are available locally, so that these methods can be replicated by local communities with limited resources.

By Eveline Kurniati and Gayatri Reksodihardjo-Lilley