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Sunday, April 7, 2013

70% of Indonesia's coral reefs damaged

Indonesia is a maritime country that is rich in marine life and beautiful coral reefs. Coral reefs as unique ecosystems in tropical, shallow part of the marine ecosystem which houses thousands of species of marine life including ornamental fish and marine genetic resources is important.

However, it is very unfortunate when the coral reefs that have important functions for life and regeneration of marine life as well as being one of the Indonesian seas appeal, is now rated in poor health condition was 70 percent.

According to Femmy Hukom, the principal investigator of Reef Fish Ecology on the Research Center for Oceanography (Pusat Penelitian Oseanografi / P2O) of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia / LIPI), besides the damage of coral reefs caused by natural factors, as well as human factors.
The beauty of Indonesian coral reefs. (Picture from: http://www.coremap.or.id/)
According Femmy, to assess the health condition of coral reefs in Indonesia, LIPI has conducted a survey on the status of coral reefs in Indonesia, based on the percentage of life coral cover. There are four categories used namely the very good condition with a 75-100 percent live coral cover, and then the good category with 50-74 percent of life coral cover, with 25-49 percent live coral cover was poor category, as well as the very poor with percentage of live coral cover only 0-24.

According to P2O-LIPI data, from 556 survey sites in Indonesia is only 6.8 percent shows very good condition, then a good 25.7 percent, while 38.9 percent were poor conditioned and 30.6 percent was very poor. "The data also showed that the very poor coral reefs condition are more numerous in the western part of Indonesia that is 40.8 percent, the central part is only 19.1 percent, while 28.5 percent in the east. Very good condition of the coral reefs in western Indonesia stay of 5.5 percent, while in the eastern part of 9.2 percent. The data will be updated from time to time," she said on Monday (25/02/2013).

Marine Ecology Professor at the Bogor Agricultural Institute (Institut Pertanian Bogor / IPB), Prof Dedi Soedharma said, in general the coral reefs are still in recovering condition from the massive damage due to uncontrolled destructive fishing ways that using explosives and cyanide.

"Indonesian government was doing through the project with the help of funds from abroad through education, training, and outreach to the coastal communities to stop fishing patterns that are not environmentally friendly. Government has also made a protected area for marine conservation as a backup parent and seed," he said.

The poison use for fishing have long known in several communities of Indonesia, namely by using herbs such as Derris spp or better known as tuba. However, this is usually done on a small scale in the river, swamp, or on the beach. Then the use of toxic synthetic thrives known as potash. Potash is actually a chemical toxic compound of potassium cyanide.

Catching fish using cyanide supposedly began in Taiwan between 1954 and 1957, but there is also a mention that its use in industrial scale started around the year 1962 in the Philippines. And then the destructive fishing technology has quickly spread everywhere, including to Indonesia. It was not environmentally friendly that ended up killing a lot of marine life including coral reef destruction in the country.

Coral Reef Rehabilitation
Regarding reclamation reef, Dedi said, various methods have been performed. Whether through habitat enhancement in a poor location or the severely damaged condition of coral reefs as well as the creation of new habitats in locations that do not have coral reefs.
A degraded reef gets rehabilitated. (Picture from: http://www.eli-africa.org/)
"To get optimal results, rehabilitation technology is still being developed. Such artificial reef development, transplantation techniques, and mineral accretion models and materials that can be lime or calcium deposited on steel frames as an outer coating that can be covered with a variety of marine life," he explains.
A Fixed Rope Nursery design. Taken from the Reef Rehabilitation Manual. (Picture from: http://www.eli-africa.org/)
The technique of artificial reefs, said Dedi, in principle, is creating a new habitat that can be covered with coral seed so that they can live stick and develop into a new colony. Usually within a relatively short time, ie, less than two years, coral seeds are mostly found in the new habitat.
A floating rope nursery from the Nature Seychelles project, who we've been communicating with. (Picture from: http://www.eli-africa.org/)
"Transplant technique has been developed especially to get the number of new tillers that much in a short time. Technique is done by cutting the colonies or parts of the body on coral polyps then planted or preserved in enclosed spaces or in the sea as a place for enlargement," said Dedi again.

Another benefit of this transplantation technique, he said, which is to meet the needs and demands of the export market in the trade as a coral reef decoration. "The technique of transplantation has been successful in branching corals such as type Acopora, Montipora, and Seritophora. Meanwhile, for the rare corals Lobophyllia, Blastomosa, Welsophyllia, and Cynarina still under trial and error in the field," said Dedi. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | COREMAP | ELIAFRICA | FEBY SYARIFAH | PIKIRAN RAKYAT 28022013]
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