DIVE NORTH SULAWESI

BUNAKEN - LEMBEH STRAIT - MANADO - Bangka & Gangga

NSWA Missions  

NSWA's Missions

Stopping destructive fishing

The initial concern of the NSWA was the amount of dynamite and cyanide fishing that they were witnessing - it seemed that this was on the increase and if nothing was done then the reefs in North Sulawesi were in serious danger.

In order to combat this distructive fishing, the dive operators donated their boats and fuel to the water police and rangers so that they could undertake patrols of the area. The customers were asked to donate US$5 to help provide funds, and this was so successful that a number of fisherman were sent to prison - a first for Indonesia! The NSWA provided advice to the management board of the marine park and this voluntary fee from customers has now been replaced by the entrance feewhich everyone has to pay to enter the marine park.

Making sure local communities benefit

The NSWA recognises that direct action is not the only initiative that is required in order to protect the reefs of Bunaken. If the local communities can see the direct benefits of tourism then they will also get involved in reef conservation. The NSWA are therefore invloved in projects to support this, including:

  • Encouraging customers to purchase handicrafts made by local communities
  • Promoting a scholarship fund for universtity places
  • Providing money to produce a reef-awareness colouring book for children
  • Hiring staff from the marine park, where possible
  • Sending 150 children to primary school: they are from 30 villages in the National Park, from poor families that cannot afford the school fee and the obligatory school uniforms

The NSWA is also making their own operations more reef-friendly. They have banned all their members from using anchors, produced a reef-friendly booklet for tourists, and designed and constructed mooring bouys on some of the dive sites.

Influencing local government

The Bunaken Marine Park is managed by a 19-member committee called DEWAN which is headed by the Vice-Governor of North Sulawesi. It is a multistakeholder board consisting of dive operators, academia, pertinent government officials and village representatives. The NSWA represents the dive operators, and can therefore directly influence the management of the marine park, and promote conservation efforts and the interests of divers.