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The Current Status of Indonesia's Coral Reef

Essay by   •  March 20, 2011  •  Essay  •  490 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,074 Views

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Beauty of the ocean is adored by many people. The multi-colors of the corals, the unique sea creatures and many more have been candy for the eyes and inspiring to the people.

But if people like it so much, why do they let it slowly disappear? Right now Indonesia's Coral Reefs are decreasing in a rapid pace. The main causes are dynamite fishing and demands of reef products. According to the Oceanology Study and Development Centre of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), 70% of Indonesia's coral reefs are in a very bad condition. If this trend keeps on, we will not see any more coral reefs that are in good condition in the future.

Dynamite fishing is considered to be a serious crime by the law. In Indonesia, the punishment for Dynamite fishing is ten years in prison and one hundred million Rupiah fine under 1985 law. Even though the punishment is severe, dynamite fishing still happens frequently throughout Indonesia. Recently this week, dynamite fishing is spotted at Aceh, Northern and Southern Sumatra, the Seribu Islands in Jakarta Bay, the East Nusa Tenggara islands and Sulawesi. The reason for this behavior is that this method of fishing is very advantageous for fisherman because it allows them to get lots of fish fast. But is it still advantageous in the long run? The answer is no. Coral reefs are home to many sea creatures, especially the fishes that the fisherman wants to catch. But from each of the dynamite the dynamite fisherman explode; coral within 3 meters are destroyed. Coral reefs take at least 40-50 years to recover, which is why dynamite fishing is a huge threat to the coral reefs existence.

We can see how much dynamite fishing destroys the corals by the numbers of fish. A traditional fisherman from South Aceh said ten years ago he could catch from fifteen to twenty tons of fish in a three days trip, but now he could only catch one ton in a week trip. Dynamite fishing gives very big disadvantages to traditional honest fisherman. Not only that, according to a fisherman from Kendari Bay in Sulawesi, dynamite fishermen frequently threaten to throw explosives to the traditional fisherman who get in their way. Dynamite fishing is a threat to the coral reefs and also for the traditional fisherman's life both livelihood and economically.

Illegal actions usually does always doesn't consider the environmental issues, but what about the legal ones? Demand for reef products is high in the



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