Now we are in the third week of making artificial reef structures as part of the Government program provided by the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries supporting communities in North Bali that have been impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic. Almost 6000 structures have already been built by over 1200 people from Buleleng district, and more will be made as time goes on. This provides opportunities for many young Balinese who were previously working in the hospitality sector, but who lost their jobs earlier this year because of the virus effectively stopping tourists from coming to Bali. They are gaining new skills in art and construction as they design and build structures from cement, sand, limestone and iron. These are sculpted into the shapes of various animals, including sharks, rays, dolphins, crocodiles, and traditional characters. For example, ‘Rotibuaya’, a meter-long artificial coral substrate is built with many holes and crevices, creating microhabitats for marine larvae and baby fish.
The field team is starting to prepare for the deployment of the structures, which will need thorough planning because these structures are not only heavy but also very numerous! The plan is to start placing the structures on the sea bed early next week. So far, over 150 divers have been registered to help in the deployment.
More updates will be posted as the project progresses! Please stay tuned!