Wakatobi Marine National Park is one of Indonesia’s most important marine protected areas. It covers a vast, remote area of 3.5 million acres in Sulawesi. The Bajo people, an ethnic group popularly known as “sea gypsies,” live on the islands there. Though relatively small in numbers, they have had a significant impact on coral reefs because they are intensely dependent on reef resources.
Working closely with a local village-based NGO, Yayasan Bajo Mattila, Seacology is making a grant to Sampela, a Bajo fishing village on Kaledupa Island. The grant will fund purchase of shallow-water fish aggregating devices, ice-making facilities, and other equipment. This grant is in support of a pelagic fisheries cooperative that will reduce the community’s dependence on coral reef resources.