Enforcement Victories

Posted on May 24, 2011
Written by: Shark Savers
Tags: Shark Sanctuaries Campaign 

a-MER_at_dusk.jpgIn October 2010, Shark Savers and Misool Eco Resort successfully petitioned the Raja Ampat government to establish a shark and ray sanctuary. This was a landmark decision, because Indonesia is one of the largest shark fishery. It is forbidden to fish for sharks, rays, turtles, and dugongs in all 46 million hectares (or approximately 177,607 square miles) of Raja Ampat. However, enforcing the ban on such a large area will difficult and enforcement measures are not in place yet for the entire region.

We recently reported on the progress at Misool Eco Resort, in the southern part of Raja Ampat where a Marine Conservation Area has existed since 2005. While we were there in April, a couple of fishing boats were apprehended, but no penalties could be imposed. Read our report Shark Savers visits the sharks and mantas of Raja Ampat.

Enforcement Progress

Since our visit, the local government has established enforcement mechanisms and penalties for poachers within the Misool Eco Resort's Marine Conservation area. This includes confiscation of the boats involved until the fines are paid. On May 17, Marit Miners of Misool Eco Resort posted a blog entry in which she describes the first case to be prosecuted under the new regulations. The Rangers apprehended two fishing boats and confiscated their boat papers. They were fishing for sharks and rays and had laid large gill nets, indiscriminately killing anything too big to swim through the holes. The boat deck was strewn with body parts of hammerheads and juvenile shark fins. Marit and the Rangers worked to pull in the gill nets, and she rescued a shovel-nose ray from certain death. The local authorities impounded the boats impounded until the fines are paid. Read the entire story celebrating small victories in our No-Take Zone

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