Komodo National Park includes 510 square miles of some of the most biologically diverse waters, reefs, mangroves, and bays in the world. It provides habitat for more than 1,000 species of fish, approximately 260 species of reef-building coral, 70 species of sponge, and the endangered hawksbill and green sea turtles. But destructive fishing practices, dynamite and cyanide fishing, are severely damaging the reef fish populations and the reef itself.
This project provides an incentive for the fishing community to fish the open ocean, away from the threatened coral reefs. Fish aggregating devices have been placed in the 5,000-foot deep waters outside the boundary of the national park. These devices attract pelagic fish such as yellowfin tuna, skipjack tuna, and Spanish mackerel, which migrate through the Indo-Pacific. This lets the local fishers continue earning a living from fishing without destroying the coral reefs.
Seacology funds are supporting the Nature Conservancy, which is training fishers from two Komodo Island communities in the skills needed to fish in deep water. The community is also using funds to equip and refit boats with equipment appropriate for this type of fishing.