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Restoration of shattered coral reef at Raja Ampat on hold

first_imgCoastal Ecosystems, Coral Reefs, Corporate Environmental Transgressors, Ecosystem Restoration, Ecotourism, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Policy, Law Enforcement, Marine Protected Areas, National Parks, Oceans, Protected Areas, Restoration Indonesia has laid out its plan for restoring the damaged reef at Raja Ampat, struck by a cruise ship earlier this year.The plan cannot proceed until compensation talks with small ship cruise liner Noble Caledonia’s insurer have concluded.The privately held tour operator has pledged to cooperate with Indonesia “towards a fair and realistic settlement.”A scientist who assessed the damage said compensation should be higher than normal because of the area’s extreme marine biodiversity, some of the world’s richest. JAKARTA — The Indonesian government can’t restore one of the country’s best coral reefs until it strikes a compensation deal with the insurer of the cruise line that wrecked it, the deputy coordinating maritime minister said this week.Raja Ampat, an island chain off the coast of New Guinea, is home to perhaps the world’s richest marine biodiversity. On Mar. 4, the 90-meter-long Caledonian Sky, owned by tour operator Noble Caledonia, ran aground at low tide on a shoal at the Crossover Reef dive site there. Nearly 19,000 square meters (205,000 square feet) of pristine reef were damaged in the accident.“We already have a design and budget to help revive the area, but we still can’t go in there,” Arif Havas Oegroseno, the deputy coordinating minister, said in an email.The Raja Ampat Islands in eastern Indonesia. Image by M.Minderhoud/Wikimedia Commons.If the government set about restoring the reef, and then negotiations with the insurer broke down and the case went to court, the state could be found guilty of tampering with evidence, he explained.Noble Caledonia is insured by the London P&I Club. The London-headquartered small ship cruise liner has apologized for the incident and pledged to cooperate with Indonesia “towards a fair and realistic settlement.”Marine experts suggest that the sooner the damaged reef can be restored, the better its chances for survival.The placement of artificial corals is imperative to the reef’s recovery, according to Nur Hidayat, marine protected areas monitoring coordinator at Conservation International Indonesia, an NGO. More broadly, though, he argued for minimal human intervention.“Raja Ampat is one of Indonesia’s ecologically pristine areas that, if left as is without any anthropogenic disruption, has the ability to self-recover, although it will never revive to its pre-accident state,” he said.In the wake of the accident, the Raja Ampat district administration has prohibited any human activity in or near the area, according to Hidayat.The Caledonian Sky after it ran aground at Raja Ampat. Photo courtesy of Stay Raja Ampat.At least 13,000 square meters of reef were damaged by the 4,290-tonne vessel, according to an official investigation whose results were signed off on by both the state and the tour operator.The boat also inflicted “medium damage” on 5,612 square meters of reef from sand whipping and coral debris caused by the ship’s movement. A tugboat was called in to break it free from the shallow area, which ultimately harmed the reef even more.By point of comparison, the broader Raja Ampat Islands stretch across 40,000 square kilometers (15,400 square miles) of land and sea off the northwest tip of West Papua province.In addition, the incident destroyed the ecosystem’s structural habitat and caused the reduction or loss of diversity of eight coral genera, including acropora, porites, montipora and stylophora.“Crossover Reef…used to be a perfect example of Raja Ampat’s magnificent marine life,” said Simon Davis, a yachtsman who has explored the islands for three years. “Thick healthy coral covered the entire reef and schools of fish swarmed all over.”The reef was home to some coral species found only in Raja Ampat, he said. Manta rays and sharks could be spotted cruising its edge.“Having seen the reef both before and after the crash, the extent of destruction was viscerally shocking. It is tragic that such a stunning place could be reduced to rubble so quickly, and it is terribly sad that it will take decades for it to grow again.”Raja Ampat. Photo by Jonathan Chase/Wikimedia Commons.Ricardo Tapilatu, head of the Research Center for Pacific Marine Resources at the University of Papua, who led a team to assess the damage, said in an interview immediately after the disaster that the standard compensation rate was $200-$400 per square meter.But due to Raja Ampat’s special biodiversity and its status as one of the world’s most popular dive sites, as well as the fact that the damage occurred in a national park, he added, the rate should be higher than normal.The Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs is seeking approval to upgrade the status of Raja Ampat — along with four other locations in Maluku, North Maluku and East Nusa Tenggara provinces — to a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area, a designation of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a UN agency.The status would give these destinations additional protective actions to control maritime activities in the area, such as routing management and installation of Vessel Traffic Services at nearby ports.The designation is intended for a sea area that has significance for its “recognized ecological or socioeconomic or scientific reasons and which may be vulnerable to damage by international maritime activities,” according to the IMO.Banner image: A stingray at Raja Ampat. Photo by Neil Stead/Flickr.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by mongabayauthorcenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? 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I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img

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