PAPUA NEW GUINEA, Kimbe Bay, West New Britain - November 2001
Demarcation of "no-take" coral reef zones
Kimbe Bay on the island of West New Britain is famous for its natural beauty and high marine biodiversity. This area is a focus of work by Mahonia Na Dari, a well-respected local NGO that has worked together with island communities to establish and manage their own locally managed marine areas. Within Kimbe Bay is Settin Bay, the location of four villages who have set aside "no-take" zones to protect critical areas of their inshore reef. Seacology is assisting these communities by providing demarcation buoys, a community-based monitoring program and community awareness materials to help educate surrounding villages on the purpose and function of the no-take areas. The installation of the buoys will be accomplished through the local communities with assistance from Mahonia Na Dari and local Nature Conservancy staff.
UPDATE July 2004 - In 2002 local communities in Kimbe Bay established and demarcated four no-take areas. Since then local NGO Mahonia Na Dari has been regularly conducting conservation education within the communities and supporting village efforts to set up committees to manage the closed areas. While the problem of poaching within the areas by non-village fishermen continues to some extent, Mahonia Na Dari has responded by increasing their conservation education efforts in neighboring communities. In 2003 several neighboring communities established and demarcated their own no-take areas.
UPDATE January 2005 - Mahonia Na Dari, the local organization running the project, is continuing its conservation education program for villages and schools surrounding the no-take areas. Part of the program provides workshops and snorkeling gear to students and teachers so they can view the no-take areas underwater. Mooring buoys were replaced with durable signposts, demarcating 21 no-take areas belonging to four different villages. An additional two villages have approached Mahonia Na Dari wishing to establish their own no-take zones. A Seacology expedition to Papua New Guinea visited this project in September 2004.