House Reef, Misool Eco Resort, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
indonesia – misool eco resort
The following description is drawn from publicly available information about Misool Eco Resort. This page will be updated with more detailed information as soon as analysis of research is published in scientific journal articles.
Misool Eco Resort (MER) is located in southern Raja Ampat, in the province of West Papua in Indonesia.
The diving and snorkelling
As the global epicentre of marine biodiversity, Raja Ampat has more than 600 species of coral, 1700 species of fish and 17 species of whales and dolphins. MER is famous for undulating, untouched hard coral reefs, soft corals, gorgonian sea fans, and for protecting the manta rays, sharks and rich fish and reef life of the MER area.
The site of MER was a shark fishing camp with reef tops littered with still breathing bodies of black tip reef sharks recently finned and thrown back into the sea to die. The coral reefs in the area surrounding MER were heavily bombed and broken. Fishers from further away finned sharks and bombed, without apprehension, destroying coral reefs, shark and fish stocks in the process.
Set inside the Southern Raja Ampat Marine Protected Area, MER has worked closely with local communities to establish two privately managed no-take zones of 1220 square kilometres (465 square miles or 300,000 acres). The no-take zones prohibit all fishing, cyanide fishing, bombing, shark finning, harvesting of turtle eggs and shellfish and other destructive fishing practices. The no-take zones are patrolled and protected by the rangers of Misool Baseftin, a Yayasan (not for profit organisation) set up to manage conservation and charitable endeavours, in partnership with local communities.
Among other things, MER and Misool Baseftin have:
• established the Misool Manta Project gathering scientific data on manta migration patterns and behaviour,
• advocated for the establishment of the Raja Ampat Shark and Manta Ray Sanctuary,
• established reef restoration projects to plant corals in damaged areas,
• protected turtle nesting grounds, and
• built ranger stations on high vantage points to increase visual surveillance without fuel costs
Scientific research shows that the no-take zones of Misool, provide quicker and more direct conservation benefits to the sharks and fish stocks of Misool than in the surrounding marine protected area in which MER is based (Jaiteh et al, 2016). Shark stocks inside the privately managed MER no-take zones were 21 to 28 times greater in abundance, significantly higher than in the marine protected area outside (Jaiteh et al, 20160.
The stocks of snappers, emperor, grouper, tuna, mackerel and large bodied wrasse and parrotfish inside the MER no-take zones were also significantly higher than in the marine protected area outside (Jaiteh et al, 2016).
Livelihoods for local fishers and communities
MER recognises the traditional marine tenure of local communities and works closely with local fishers and communities to protect the coral reefs, fish and marine mega fauna around MER.
Among other things, MER and Misool Baseftin provide livelihoods to local fishers and communities by
• paying an annual lease fee to the traditional owners of the two no-take zones,
• employing local fishers in the Misool Baseftin ranger patrol
• building a kindergarten project in the community of Fafanlap, in partnership with Seacology and WildAid
• paying the wages of six teachers in three communities where they cannot afford teacher salaries
• running a school library project taking books from community to community and two permanent community libraries
• training local staff as dive guide to Open Water certification level
Rangers of the Reef – A short film about the Misool Baseftin Ranger Patrol, by Brady Valashinas
Scientific paper by Jaiteh et al (2016)
Jaiteh, Vanessa Flora, et al. “Higher Abundance Of Marine Predators And Changes In Fishers’ Behavior Following Spatial Protection Within The World’s Biggest Shark Fishery.” Frontiers in Marine Science 3 (2016): 43.