Indonesia

Our first participatory marine conservation programme.

Where does it take place?

Since 2015, our NGO restores coral reefs around Hatamin island in collaboration the local NGO WES. Located in the north-west of Flores, next to Komodo National Park, this area was officially declared “Marine Protected Area” in September 2019 by the Indonesian government, at our request.

Why is it important to act in this region?

The disruption of the food chain, caused by overfishing and dynamite fishing, has affected the balance of local coral ecosystems.

Our mission

A team of 8 people, most of whom are former fishermen, are working full time on the project to restore and protect coral reefs in this area. Each month is punctuated by a work routine involving restoration, awareness programs, scientific monitoring and protection of the marine protected area.
With the aim of helping to manage local marine resources, a social monitoring routine has been set up. Every month, 10 fishermen are interviewed on their fishing habits. Concerning the environmental monitoring of the coral transplantation, the local team regularly follows the evolution of the transplanted reefs, thanks to numerous indicators such as the growth rate, mortality rate, bleaching rate or the return of biodiversity.
This will result in improved living conditions for these communities through the regeneration of fishing stocks.

Over the years

40 000

transplanted corals in 5 years

30.2

times more fish in 4 years

1.2 ha

marine protected area

30

local jobs created

Our restoration techniques

Following the total destruction of the substrate by dynamite fishing, our technique for restoring damaged reefs is based on coral fragmentation and transplantation onto artificial structures. Despite the strong currents in the area, this technique stabilises the coral fragments on a solid metallic structure. The corals attached to this new substrate will grow, bringing the reef back to life. Each coral fragment is collected from the area where we work.

Initially, the local team collected viable fragments of coral from the seabed (called “opportunity fragments”), before transplanting them onto the metallic structures and allowing them to grow. Today, the oldest structures are composed of very healthy corals, reaching a size of around 40 centimetres. As a result, the team is now using these structures as “nurseries” for new coral transplants. This also allows the development of corals that are more resilient to climate change. Indeed, according to certain scientific studies, when a coral undergoes a first stress, it is more inclined to resist a second stress.