Thursday, 31 May 2012

7 vessels caught shark fishing in Indonesian protected area

Caught in the act: community patrols find arrest shark finners in Indonesian marine sanctuary
May 2012. 33 alleged shark finners on seven vessels nabbed in Raja Ampat Marine Protected Area; contraband discovered includes shark fins, shark and manta ray carcasses and sea cucumbers valued at more than U$160,000

155,000 hectare protected area
The fishermen were apprehended in the Kawe MPA, an uninhabited 155,000 hectare protected area in north-western Raja Ampat, which is protected through traditional, regency, and national law. Over 97 percent of the MPA has been declared as a no-take zone, making it the largest functional no-take zone in Southeast Asia, and which makes fishing of any kind in this area illegal. The Kawe MPA is one of six large-scale MPAs in Raja Ampat designed in large part to support sustainable fisheries for the food security of local communities. The Raja Ampat government has also declared the entire surrounding Raja Ampat region as a shark sanctuary.

Upon hearing news of the fishermen entering the MPA, the local Kawe community patrol team, which actively patrols the MPA for outside poachers, launched a quick response. With support from the Governor of West Papua and the Raja Ampat Regency government, the community patrol team in partnership with the Navy and local police successfully apprehended the fishermen in a tense, but non-violent confrontation.

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