findings and happenings of note in the marine world
“Amazon of the Seas”:
Coral Triangle Initiative Gains Support
As a boy, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Danny Philip
says, he would often paddle a kayak out to sea off his
home island of Rendova, in the North Georgia Islands,
to catch tuna. He and his father would often return with
8 to 10 Yellowfin Tuna caught on handmade hooks from
“Now such as catch is impossible,” says Philip, who
recently spoke in favor of the Coral Triangle Initiative,
an attempt to save and protect the world’s richest marine area, which contains 76% of all known coral species, 37% of all known coral reef fish species, and 53%
of the world’s coral reefs.
The Coral Triangle is found within the territories of
six countries: Malaysia, Indonesia, Timor Leste, Papua
New Guinea, the Philippines, and Solomon Islands.
Indonesia has set a goal of creating up to 20 million hectares (about 49 million acres) of conservation
area by 2020 as part of a concrete plan to implement
the Initiative, according to Marine Affairs and Fisheries
Minister Fadel Muhammad, who made the announcement in Jakarta on November 22. Currently, Indonesia
has 13 million hectares ( 32 million acres) of conservation area, he said.
The minister also inaugurated a marine conservation
area in Nusa Penida, Bali, in a move to protect marine
and coastal life as well as to encourage sustainable marine tourism. The inauguration followed an ecological
shoal of seale’s Cardinalfish, Apogon sealei, on Indonesian reef.
study conducted last year by a number of world marine
experts such as Emre Turak and Dr. Gerry Allen.
The results of the study suggest that the 20,057-hect-
are (49-acre) marine conservation area holds 296 kinds
of coral species and 576 kinds of fish
species, five of them new fish species.
Meanwhile, the results of a survey
made by The Nature Conservancy Indonesia Marine Programme showed
that Nusa Penida has 1,419 hectares
( 3,500 acres)of coral reefs and 230
hectares (568 acres) of shallow waters
dominated by 13 species of mangroves.
Fadel said the creation of conservation areas in Nusa Penida and the rest
of the country was a definite step taken
by the government to implement the
CTI launched by Indonesia, along with
the Philippines, Malaysia, Timor Leste,
left: CtI; top: DenIse nIelsen taCkett
CtI countries include Indonesia, Malaysia,
papua new Guinea, philippines, solomon
Islands, and timor leste.