Bunaken Island, the “crown jewel” of Indonesia’s Bunaken National Park, encompasses approximately five square miles (1,300 hectares) of land and reef and is home to over 3,000 native fisher-farmers. It is one of Asia’s best-known dive destinations. Unfortunately, despite its national park status, intense use of the area has degraded the island’s reef and seagrass beds.
The Bunaken Concerned Citizens’ Forum is working to balance the diverse demands of fishing, dive tourism, and biodiversity preservation. With the Bunaken National Park Office, it has created a locally managed marine conservation plan. The plan sets aside no-take zones and areas that allow only traditional, non-destructive fishing techniques.
In exchange, Seacology is funding a landing dock for the Alung Banoa community. This dock will help prevent damage to coral reefs and seagrass beds caused by boats that anchor in shallow water. It will also allow for much easier access to and from the village at low tide.