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|Newsletter April 2013|
Jürgen Freund in Komodo
In April 2009, award-winning photographer Jürgen Freund and Stella-Chiu Freund set out on an 18-month expedition across the Coral Triangle, visiting bustling centers of marine product trade as well as some of the most remote and breathtaking habitats on earth. They packed up their life in Australia and travelled to and photographed from the air, land and underwater the 6 countries of the Coral Triangle - the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste.
They also worked from the Seven Seas as part of their visit to Komodo National Park and showed how rich the underwater life in Komodo is just at the foot of Komodo's near barren rocky islands. Conservation work is key to Jürgen's photography and he he likes to shoot what is beautiful and compelling in every place he visits. He also likes telling stories with his pictures. In story telling through pictures, people easier realize what is at stake.
Stella produced a photo book with a beautiful selection of the expeditions photographs. Seven Seas has several copies onboard for sale. The Coral Triangle is a 276-page book that showcases the faces, places and wildlife that make this region truly remarkable, as well as a fragile wonder that must be conserved. The book includes over 400 stunning photographs documenting life and death, from the color and abundance of fish life and magnificent animals amidst rich coral reefs, to the systematic slaughter of a leatherback turtle and other images of danger and destruction.
Just recently the Freunds made a great compilation of some of their images and put it on YouTube.
Update on the Banda Education Project
Fajarria, the marine biology student supported through the great work of Agnes Westwater and Pak Bahri from Delfika Guesthouse on Banda Neira with a university scholarship from Seven Seas continues to do well at the University in Makassar, South Sulawesi. She has two more years to go and her grades are good.
Seven Seas is committed to support Fajarria’s completion of her studies and hopes that some of you are willing to help out. For the coming year all costs are covered, but for her last year that includes final exams and graduation, and a trip for her parents to attend the ceremony.
Seven Seas is also supporting the continuation of the Banda school boat system and as Seven Seas will spent more time in Komodo, we are keen to set up some support projects there as well. Any contribution from you will go a long way to get young local kids interested and educated for marine and fisheries conservation. Please contact Candra for further details.
Coral Triangle Day 2013, June 09
It has been almost one year already since the first-ever Coral Triangle Day and now Lida and her team from WWF have started planning with local partners to make this year even bigger and better! The Coral Triangle governments have now formally recognized June 9 as the official Coral Triangle Day. Last year proved to be a success.
If you are in Indonesia on June 9, WWF would like to encourage you to do something special or within that weekend, which is World Oceans Day. We hope that you will utilize this platform to promote your thoughts about marine conservation. Maybe you can engage any of your local contacts and partners- dive operators, resorts, hotels, restaurants-to possibly do something on June 9. WWF can highlight Coral Triangle Day activities on the official website if you send WWF the following information:
You may email this information to Mr. Rendy Mulyono at [email protected] so that the event can be featured on the official website. We are also encouraging everyone to upload Coral Triangle Day photos or videos to www.thecoraltriangle.com/day. Event logos, posters, and banner templates will also be available for downloading on this website in due time.
The Coral Triangle Day is an open-sourced event, which means any individual, organization, institution, or establishment can organize anything they want in relation to the Coral Triangle and ocean conservation. Your support this year will be crucial in making the Coral Triangle Day bigger yet. For more information, please email Paolo Mangahas at [email protected].
Update Koon: Reef Fish Aggregation Site Protection
This is an update on earlier reports in our newsletters of March 2012 and of December 2008 which described the location and the importance of its conservation.
Since two years, WWF has a conservation agreement with the people of the Grogus community who live on an island in the Moluccas. The community agreed to protect a reef fish aggregation site at the island of Koon east of Seram in the Moluccas. Many reef fish swim several miles to aggregate at certain spots on a reef, to reproduce and the location on the tip of Koon island seems to be one of those spawning aggregations used by groupers and many other species of reef fish.
The importance of the site was reported on by Ron and Valerie Taylor and some other veteran divers. During certain moon phases they noticed how large numbers of groupers would come to this location and show clear signs of mating behavior. Lida remembers diving the site with Seven Seas one time, where Ron in stealth position, flat on the bright white sand at the outside edges of a huge bright white sand patch, tried to move in carefully with his camera in front of him and not at all disturbing the fish in their behavior, coming very close to the groupers, making some fantastic and unique shots.
The area was already heavily fished for several years when WWF asked fisheries scientist Peter Mous to evaluate the importance of the site and to work with WWFs local staff to discuss possibilities to ban all fishing with the traditional owners of the island. The communities agreed to actively help safeguard the spawning area from fishing and receive an annual amount of money that is used for shared community needs.
Now that the second year of the agreement has already been active, the community established a small "patrol" unit to ensure that the conservation agreement is implemented. Also, the community members in the "patrol" team take basic observations on the status of reef fish populations within the conservation area, so that WWF and others can measure recovery of fish stocks as well as compliance with the fishing ban. This determines whether the conservation agreement with Grogus will be renewed each year.
The Koon initiative now has good support from the local government who has developed a proposal for larger MPA around the No-Take-Zone. These months, a tourism consultant will engage some of the live aboard dive operators that visit Koon in their trips, to discuss scope for collaboration on the protection of this important area.
The Seven Seas - Grahalia Tiying Gading 18, Suite 1 - Jl Tukad Pancoran
Panjer Denpasar 80225 - Bali - Indonesia