Exploring Indonesia’s Last of the Wild – the Forgotten Islands
By Stuart Campbell and Nils Krueck
The Forgotten Islands occupy a region in the southeastern Indonesian province of Maluku, a sparsely-populated area covering about 50,000 square kilometers that includes a vast expanse of coral reefs. As the region’s name suggests, not much is known about these reefs and their associated fisheries.
One important reason for this is that for much of the year the seas are wild and unable to be accessed. Another reason is that Maluku’s Forgotten Islands support around 70,000 people who practice traditional customs that hark back to before the conversion of communities to Christianity. These customs include the guarding of marine resources against occasional visitors, such as nomadic fishers from central Indonesia.
As part of a larger collaborative effort between the World Wildlife Fund, the University of Queensland, and the Wildlife Conservation Society to explore, manage, and conserve the Sunda Banda Seascape of Indonesia, we recently traveled to the wider region surrounding the Forgotten Islands in order to survey reef habitats, reef fish communities, and fishing activities.
We began our expedition in Maumere on the island of Flores (three —> Read More Here