INDONESIA, Togean Islands - July 2003
Fisheries enforcement and community infrastructure in exchange for the creation of a 3,200-acre marine sanctuary
The Togean Islands are a cluster of rainforest-capped karst islands that are margined by a barrier reef and surround by a myriad of patch reefs. Illegal blast fishing is an ongoing activity in the Togeans and is met with virtually no enforcement. Seacology is providing local villages with a speedboat and radio equipment for patrol, a guardhouse, as well as new infrastructure for the village of Tomil. In exchange, the village is setting aside a 3,200-acre no-take fishing zone, which has been coordinated by Black Marlin Diving.
UPDATE July 2004 - The fresh water component of the project has been completed successfully. A well was drilled about 5 km uphill from the village from a permanent source of water. The water quality is reported to be good and clean and will not go brackish. It is piped down the hill and across the bay to the village where there are 3 or 4 storage tanks, from these it is distributed to 4 locations around the village. The flow of water is good and supply is plentiful. Construction of the guard house and repairs to the mosque and pier is scheduled to be completed at the end of December when the northwest monsoon ends. Purchase of the patrol boats for the enforcement component of the project is being coordinated.
UPDATE July 2005 - The guardhouse was completed in early 2005. The construction of a new boat dedicated to patrolling the sanctuary is scheduled to be completed in June 2005. In the meantime, the Black Marlin Dive Resort has helped the Togean Island community patrol the sanctuary by both lending patrol boats until the new boat is built, and by approaching other dive centers and a pearl farm to help with the operating costs of patrolling. The patrols are currently handing out warnings to people trying to fish in the reserve until proper enforcement starts in June. Sightings of bomb fishing in the area have been greatly reduced by the presence of the patrols.
UPDATE January 2006 - Construction of the guardhouse is completed. Acquisition of a speedboat has been slow. The boat is being constructed at the local pearl farm, and was scheduled to be completed by January 2006. Project coordinators at Black Marlin Dive Resort have been exploring alternatives in case the boat is not completed, such as acquiring a second-hand boat or one formerly used by the government. The repairs to the mosque have yet to be made, as some villagers have been making holes in the Seacology-funded pipe system to get water at various sites along the route. It has been made clear to village leaders that this is not acceptable. Once this problem is solved, repairs to the mosque can take place.
UPDATE June 2006 - Acquisition of a patrol boat has been slow, but is expected to be completed by June 2006. In the meantime Black Marlin Dive Center has been loaning their dive boat for patrols. In 2005 villagers cut holes in the Seacology-funded pipe system to get water at various sites along the route. After village discussions, making it clear to village leaders that this is not acceptable, the repairs were completed and the Black Marlin Dive Center built a second water collection tank to increase water pressure at the proper collection site. Repairs to the mosque are not completed. Meetings to discuss renovation plans are scheduled for mid-2006.
UPDATE January 2007 - Acquisition of a patrol boat was completed in June 2006 and patrols are under way. Meetings to discuss renovation plans will continue into 2007.
UPDATE June 2008 - As of April 2008 the water system remains in good working order. The village continues their work on renovating a mosque. In response to a few problems with local fisherman extracting sea cucumbers and shells in the area project leaders have started working with government officials to increase patrols in the area. Project leaders are also working with local conservation organizations to start a campaign to make the Togeans a World Heritage site.