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Indonesia to assess the damage suffered by coral reefs recently hit by a Bahamian-flag ship



The Caledonian Sky in Raja Ampat, Indonesia – Hugo Mattsson/Courtesy of Facebook

Jayapura, Jubi – A British-owned, Bahamian-flagged Noble Caledonia cruise ship sailed into 1,600 metres of coral reef in the western Indonesian archipelago of Raja Ampat on March 4, damaging the structural stability of the underwater environment.

The 114-passenger, 90-metre Caledonian Sky ran aground before evacuating all passengers from the ship and being pulled back out to sea, Ricardo Tapilatu of the Research Center for Pacific Marine Resources at the University of Papua said.

“A tugboat from Sorong city was deployed to help refloat the cruise ship, which is something that shouldn’t have happened because it damaged the reef even worse,” Tapilatu told The Guardian. “They should’ve waited for high tide,” he said.

By pulling the 4,200-tonne cruise-liner immediately back out, the ship operators caused even more harm to one of the world’s most populous and diverse ecosystems.

Meanwhile, an investigation has been launched amidst concern about damage caused to the coral reef near Kri Island, off Raja Ampat, and how the ship ran aground. On its Facebook page, the local tourism organisation Stay Raja Ampat asked: “How can this happen? Anchor damage from ships like these is bad enough, but actually grounding a ship on a reef takes it to a whole new level.”
In a statement released by the British-owned small cruise specialist, a spokesperson said Noble Caledonia was co-operating fully with the relevant investigating authorities.

Describing the incident as “unfortunate,” the spokesperson said: “Noble Caledonia is firmly committed to protection of the environment, which is why it is imperative that the reasons for it are fully investigated, understood and any lessons learned incorporated in operating procedures”.

He said the ship was operating in a remote area off Kri Island when it grounded on an unchartered shoal.

“The relevant authorities were immediately informed, and divers inspected the underwater part of the hull,” he said.

“The inspection revealed that the hull was undamaged and remained intact. The ship did not take on water, nor was any pollution reported as a result of the grounding. The vessel was relfloated on the next tide and was anchored safely nearby to allow a full assessment of the hull and machinery to be made. That inspection revealed nothing more than superficial damage and after liaison with the relevant local authorities, the ship sailed to take up a slightly revised version of her planned itinerary.”

Indonesia Marine and Fisheries Ministry sent a team to Raja Ampat, West Papua, to assess the damage suffered by coral reefs recently hit by a Bahamian-flag ship the Caledonian Sky.

“The team has departed. We conducted an evaluation of the damages immediately after the incident,” said Chief of Cooperation and Public Information Bureau of the Ministry Lily Aprilya when contacted by Tempo on Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Directorate of Marine Spatial and the Directorate General of Marine and Fisheries Resources Supervision were also included in the team, which had just arrived on Sunday, March 12, 2017.
Before the Ministry’s team had arrived, a local team from Sorong and the Kupang Marine Conservation Area National Agency together with a task force of the Directorate General of Marine and Fisheries Resources Supervision has been working on assessing the damage suffered by the coral reefs a few days ago.

Director General of Marine Spatial Bramantya Satyamurti said that the team will hold a meeting with other respective parties. “We will prepare steps that will be taken by the government against the cruise ship,” Bramantya said. (*)


Fish aggregating devices damages Papua’s marine ecosystem




Illustration of a beach in Papua. – Jubi/Hengky Yeimo

Jayapura, Jubi – John Gobay, a member of Papua House of Representatives from Meepago customary area, said fish aggregating devices (FADs) are possibly damaging the marine ecosystem in Papua.

These FADs neglect the local wisdom of indigenous Papua,” Gobai told Jubi on Monday (4/6/2018). Therefore, he proposes regulation and agreement on the prohibition of FADs in the Papua’s coastal areas.

“Moreover, the tools used by non-Papuan fishermen who give a monthly payment to someone rather than paying a contribution to indigenous tribes as well as to the customary landowner,” he explained.

It often raises a conflict between the local and migrant fishermen, like what happened in Pomako, Mimika, on 1 August 2017. “Consequently, indigenous fishermen often exclude from the fishing spaces that are already occupied by non-Papuan fishermen,” he said.

A Papua fisherman Musye Weror appreciates Gobai’s idea to seek an establishment of the regulation for native fishermen. “We’ve been having a lot of drawbacks over the years because we still use the traditional fishing tools,” said Weror. (*)

Reporter: Hengky Yeimo

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Papua House of Representatives will promote Ambaidiru coffee




Secretary of the Papua House of Representatives, Juliana J Waromi (standing) with several members of the House of Representatives during a meeting with the community, coffee farmers, and officials of Ambaidiru – Jubi / Doc

Jayapura, Jubi – The Secretary of the Papua House of Representatives Juliana J Waromi said the house is ready to help the community of Ambaidiru Village, Kosiwo Sub-district, Yapen Islands District to promote their coffee.

She said she and several legislators visited the 60 hectares Ambaidiru coffee plantation area a few days ago in response to the aspiration of the local community. “I want to see it directly. If it’s good, I will help them to find a market. Based on my experience working with the Investment Coordination Board Papua for three years, I could promote the coffee to abroad,” said Waromi on (5/6/2018).

A coffee farmer Yulianus Maniamboy recently told Jubi that the coffee plantation in Ambaidiru firstly introduced in the Dutch era. The Dutch tried to plant it and worked. Ambaidiru coffee is now over 50 years old.

“Instead of in groups, we manage our commodity individually. Farmers dry their coffee by their own. There is no control, not centralised and consequently, the quality of coffee is still very varied. However, in the past years, we could produce a ton of coffee per month. That’s because there was no disruption and the management of the cooperative was good,” he said. (*)


Reporter: Arjuna Pademme

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Nine fish species found in Fakfak coastal areas




Nine fish species found in the coastal areas of Berau Bay dan Nusalasi-Van Den Bosch Bay, Fakfak District. – Jubi/Doc CI Indonesia, Fakfak

Manokwari, Jubi – The Conservation International (CI) Indonesia in Fakfak has identified nine species of coral fish as new species because it has not scientifically included in Pisces taxonomy.

The Program Manager of CI Indonesia for Fakfak Nur Ismu Hidayat said this finding made during the survey on the potential of coastal areas in Fakfak in two-week diving at the Berau Bay, Kokas sub-district and Nusalasi-Van Den Bosch Bay, Karas sub-district.

“From two weeks of diving at the northern Fakfak (the coastal area of Berau Bay), we can identify six new species. Then three species were identified in the western Fakfak, namely the coastal areas of Nusalasi-Van Den Bosch Bay located at Karas sub-district,” Hidayat told Jubi on Friday (1/6/2018) in Manokwari. Further, he said the habitats of the nine fish are quite varied, from the depth of 1-2 metres with average wave condition, muddy sediment to the coral area.

“One of the newfound fish, 6-centimetre black fish with the light-coloured mouth like wearing lipstick, is classified in Pomacentrus Family based on its morphology. This species cannot find in other places. Based on this fact, the researchers strongly assume the species is the endemic fish of Fakfak coastal sea,” said Hidayat. Moreover, he said the nine new fish species are not possible to consume because of their size, but they potentially become decorative fish that people can enjoy their beauty in their natural habitats, so, it’s potential for ecotourism development.

Furthermore, he said the coral and marine biota in Fakfak are extraordinary. Fakfak coastal area is also a safe habitat for rare fish species that rarely found in other sea areas.  “For instance, the gong-liked black parrot fish (large coral fish species which a bulge front head looked like a gong), known as Chlorurus Oedema, was successfully captured during the survey in the estuary of the Nusalasi-Van Den Bosch Bay,” added Hidayat.

Meanwhile, a lecturer from Universitas Papua (Unipa) Manokwari Keylopas Krey said the potential of local species in West Papua Province is quite high, but it has not well documented. For the new finding, the researcher certainly will take a systematic and scientific procedure. “In the process to identify the taxonomy, morphology and genetic analysis would be applied to confirm and validate whether these nine species are new species that evolve or have a relationship with other species in that area,” said Krey.

The finding of these alleged new fish species is a good prospect for science. Therefore the reserve management of this area couldn’t be separated from science. It means science will be applied to improve the application system and national and international records about regional potencies.

“Unipa will not only continue to encourage the smart steps of many parties in protecting the environment in the entire of the land of Papua as the centre of biodiversity; but also keep to push all the parties for taking positive steps toward the sustainable development management,” he said.

Moreover, he added,” there are high conservation values that need to maintain. Therefore, the development in Papua, especially in West Papua Province, can always prioritise the values that respect to the future of local wisdom for our future generation.” (*)


Reporter: Hans Kapisa

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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