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📸 @shawnheinrichs
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DEFENDING THE HEART OF MARINE BIODIVERSITY

Indonesia has the greatest biodiversity of sharks and rays of anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, it is also the number one fisher for sharks and rays. As such, the populations of many of these species have been severely depleted throughout the archipelago. As part of my work there, a huge focus has been trying to secure local and national level protections for many of these vulnerable species. Some of the biggest successes have come at both the local level, as well as at the national level.

Locally, in Raja Ampat, working closely with @misool.resort , we succeeded in protecting a 400 square kilometer section of the most biodiverse reefs in all of Raja Ampat in 2005. Later, in 2008, we were able to expand that to a total of 1,200 square kilometers. As a result of those conservation efforts, with strict enforcement by the local communities, shark populations are 25 times greater within the protected area than outside of it. Following that, in partnership with @conservationorg and @mantatrust , we succeeded in working closely with the regional government to secure protection for all of Raja Ampat as a shark and ray sanctuary, as well as protecting other marine megafauna. With that protection, a major portion of the large scale commercial vessels that were doing trawling, long-lining, and gill-netting, have been removed from the waters of Raja Ampat.












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