30 May 2019 - The Indonesian government has established three new marine protected areas within the Coral Triangle, home to the highest diversity of corals and reef fishes anywhere on the planet.
- Indonesia has designated three new marine protected areas (MPAs) in the waters of eastern North Maluku province.
- The new protected zones are expected to improve the local fisheries sector and support national food security.
- The establishment of the areas is part of the government’s target to create 200,000 square kilometers (77,200 square miles) of MPAs by 2020; it has already achieved 96 percent of that goal.
The declaration of the three new zones, spanning a combined 226 square kilometers (87 square miles), was made on April 2. They’re centered, respectively around the islands of Sula, Rao and Makian, which are all part of the Morotai archipelago in the eastern province of North Maluku. Indonesia has committed to setting aside 200,000 square kilometers (77,200 square miles) of its territorial waters for conservation by 2020, and has to date achieved 191,400 square kilometers (73,900 square miles), or about 96 percent of its target.
Fishing boats larger than 10 gross tonnage will be prohibited from entering the newly declared marine protected areas (MPAs); only traditional and small-scale fishers using sustainable fishing equipment will be permitted to operate there, under a 2016 law on marine conservation areas.
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