International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

Teamwork matters in marine protected area (MPA) management: The Aru Tenggara experience

Aru Tenggara Marine Protected Area (MPA) is one of the regions in the Arafura Sea where efforts are made to protect the ecosystem and species. Although uninhabited, this entire 114,000 hectares of space is used as a fishing ground for people outside of the MPA and remains a petuanan or an area where customary communities collect/manage resources which compels sustainable fishery practices in the area. In 2014, the MPA issued a Management and Zoning Plan, which were signed by the Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of Indonesia, and which will guide the management of the MPA for a period of 20 years, or until 2034. The day-to-day activities in the MPA are managed by the Working Unit consisting of four staff members -- the team leader, two technical staff and a boat crew, but only one of them is an official civil servant, while the others work on a contractual basis. They are all based in the MPA management office in Dobo, the capital city of the Kepulauan Aru Regency, Maluku. It takes 12 hours by regular boat to reach the MPA from Dobo in normal weather conditions. At least once a month, the Working Unit conducts regular monitoring activities on three main habitats -- coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass, as well as species such as sea turtle and cetaceans. The team also ensures surveillance and patrols are operational around the MPA.

6920: Implementation of the Arafura and Timor Seas Regional and National Strategic Action Programs

23 Dec 2020