Latest On The Conservation Gateway

A well-managed and operational Conservation Gateway is in our future! Marketing, Conservation, and Science have partnered on a plan to rebuild the Gateway into the organization’s enterprise content management system (AEM), with a planned launch of a minimal viable product in late 2024. If you’re interested in learning more about the project, reach out to for more info!

Welcome to Conservation Gateway

The Gateway is for the conservation practitioner, scientist and decision-maker. Here we share the best and most up-to-date information we use to inform our work at The Nature Conservancy.

Coral Reef Monitoring in Kofiau and Boo Islands Marine Protected Area, Raja Ampat, West Papua. 2009—2011

Purwanto; Muhajir; Wilson, J.; Ardiwijaya, R.; Mangubhai, S.

Kofiau and Boo Islands Marine Protected Area (MPA) is located in Raja Ampat Regency, West Papua, Indonesia in the heart of the Coral Triangle. The reefs of Raja Ampat have the world’s highest diversity of fish and corals and also sustain the livelihoods of local communities through fisheries production, tourism and other marine industries. Management and zoning plans are currently being developed for all seven of the MPAs in Raja Ampat, including Kofiau and Boo Islands.

Reef health monitoring was conducted in Kofiau and Boo Islands MPA in 2009, 2010 and 2011 to: (a) obtain data on the state of the coral reefs to guide the design of the zoning plan for the MPA; and (b) establish a strong baseline to assess the effectiveness of the zoning and management plans by comparing changes in benthic and fish communities in different zones over time. Coral reef monitoring followed the protocol by Wilson and Green (2009). Reef health was assessed by documenting the composition of the benthic and fish communities at 10m depth using point intercept transects and underwater visual census along transects plus a long swim, respectively. A total of 25 permanent monitoring locations and 16 additional monitoring locations were selected. In addition, seawater temperatures were monitored using eight in situ temperature loggers positioned near reefs throughout the MPA. 

Despite overfishing pressure the fish communities in Kofiau and Boo Islands MPA are still in relatively healthy condition, compared to other parts of Indonesia. Average total fish biomass in the MPA was 35.4 kg/ha, with an average of 49.1 kg/ha in Boo Island and of 27.7 ha/kg in Kofiau Island, with highest fish biomass recorded in 2010. The MPA still has large size fish predators such as sharks, groupers and Napoleon wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus). However, fish biomass decreased at most sites from 2009 to 2010, especially for herbivores, and this may have been due to intensive fishing by outside fishers from December 2009 to January 2010. There has been a decrease in the number of sharks and rays in the MPA over monitoring years. White tip reef (Trianodon obesus), black tip reef (Carcharhinus melanopterus) and nurse sharks (Nebrius ferrugineus) were recorded in Kofiau and Boo Islands MPA, although numbers of sightings of have decreased from 2009 to 2011, indicating fishers are targeting shark species. 

The majority of reefs in Kofiau and Boo Islands MPA are gently sloping fringing reefs surrounding the islands. Coral cover ranged from 9.2 to 78.0 % with highest cover seen infront of Deer Village (Kampung Deer). Sites at Boo Island had higher coral cover than reefs surrounding Kofiau Island.

The average live hard coral cover for the MPA was 29.9%. There was no significant change in any of the benthic categories in the MPA between the monitoring years 2009 and 2011. A decrease in coral cover was recorded in 2010, but this is likely a result of using a different observer that year. Coral cover in recently declared no take zones was higher than in zones where fishing and other uses is allowed, which suggests that the zoning plan for Kofiau and Boo Islands MPA has been well designed by local communities, government and partners. 

Minor coral bleaching was recorded in 2009, 2010 and 2011 but there was no apparent mortality (recorded as increase in rock cover). Bleaching surveys in 2011 showed that

The results of the coral reef health monitoring suggest that the Kofiau and Boo Islands MPA zoning plan protects a number of sites with good fish and benthic communities inno take zones (NTZs) and these will act as fish banks and reserves for the spill over of larvae and adults to other areas. The Traditional Use Zones (TUZs) also have high biomass of fish families that are a target for Kofiau residents and so they should still be able to have enough fisheries resources for their local needs.

However, to address the declining fish biomass in Kofiau and Boo Islands MPA, it is important for local communities and enforcement agencies to actively enforce the zoning system – to both protect NTZs from any fishing activity and also ensure that the number of outside fishers and gear types are adequately managed in TUZs.