Indonesia Explore : South East Moluccas

Indonesia Explore : South East Moluccas

A Beautiful Coral Reef When we were sailing From Maumere to Saumlaki

A natural coral which is a little disturbance from human (C) Janine

Indonesia is a large island from Weh to Merauke, with so many island especially in east region, mostly for ecological data for coral reef and socio-economic aspect is very limited, but actually this data is needed to developed some marine protected area to ensure sustainibiity food and protected the biodiversity. Maluku Barat Daya (South West Moluccas) Is an area where located in South West Moluccas. There were so many island here likes Alor (East Nusa Tenggara), Nyata, Babar, Moa, Wetar, Romang. So WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and WWF (World Wildlife Fund) were collaborated for  conducted and collected ecological data for coral reef and reef fish.this activitiy was participated by 6 people, i.e. Khaifin “Iping”, Taufik “Opik” Abdillah (WWF-Indonesia), Stuart Campbell, Fakhrizal “Ubun” Setiawan, Nils Krueck and me Sukmaraharja. I Just want to give you some a little description in forgotten island. It was excited when you found group of schooling lutjanid, Acanthurid in the water, and the sea fans, soft coral, and hard coral is really awesome and colorfull. Sometimes you found schooling barracuda, and I was quite lucky when I found a schooling barracuda and hammerhead shark.

In this trip we start sailing  from Maumere-Alor- to Saumlaki in South East Molucas (Yamdena Island, Tanimbar). From this journey I have noted about what species has been found and what does interest for each of site. Here was my noted.

Clownfish valley

This site was located in Alor region, this location was really calm with good visibility and so many clownfish lived in anemone with symbiosize mutualism. This location really colorful with so many soft coral and good visibility and the water was really cool.

Alor Region – west coast of Wetar

At the afternoon when we haeding to Wetar, and we tryied to come out from Alor, we see amazed  pilot, I expected  maybe  fifty dolphins were swiming in the behind a boat Ondina. Next trip we sailed to West Wetar, in this location is one of perfect area with good visibility water and colorful sea fans, normally we always did see napoleon wrasse, trevallies. and I heard after finishing dived on the site about water crocodile from boat crew, Fortunately none of the divers encountered it underwater, but it was really scary!!

Grouper Fate

So, the question is why do we called this site with grouper fate??

The atoll around the islands of Amortaun and Materialam proved to have some of the finest diving in the region. We dived the NW point early in the morning on day 8 and were greeted by scores of leopard groupers, as well as a large school of Bumphead parrotfish, Second dive on the west side of the atoll was similar, with the same aggregations of groupers, napoleon wrasses and a nurse shark.  

A couple of fishing boats we met told us every year massive aggregations of leopard grouper occur in this area. Spawning Aggregation Sites (SPAGs) of grouper. Accroding to the fishermen, on August – November fishermen can catch 3 – 4 tons of grouper in just two weeks in this area (Richard Buxo notes)

Finally we dived for 28 samples, and my journey has been finished in Saumlaki, Tanimbar.. I have resumed from this trip

  1. There are so many high abundance and biomass which was found frequently of each site. High biodiversity was represented low disturbante especially from people activity likes bombing or potassium
  2. Good condition for coral cover, mostly with soft coral and the flow and visibility is goof for tourism activity.
  3. Aspect socio-economic is needed to observe perspective from local people and what is the issues and problems to develop MPA.

with so highly for abundance and biomass of reef fish and a good condition of coral reef I think South West Mollucas is must be protected as marine protected area But unfornutelly I see the big problem about so difficult acess to come to here, and it was also admitted by local people when we tried to talk to him, he just give opinion so difficult acess for children to school and to down town, and for gasoline is really high prizes. Marine Ministries of Fisheries (MMAF) Republic Indonesia has a target to achieve 20 ha (hectares)  Marine Protected area in 2020, So it will be challenged for Indonesia to develop some MPA here with so many limitedness and hard to acess area.

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