24 Jun 2021
Since 2018, KEHATI Foundation with PT Asahimas Chemical has conducted rehabilitation for damaged reefs in the Natura Tourism Area of Sangiang Island. Unlike most methods, the coral reef rehabilitation effort uses a PVC module as the reefs’ growing media. Until 2021, there are 75 modules planted in Sangiang Island area.
Based on the annual monitoring result, the survival rate for this transplantation with PVC pipes is above 67% per year. This fact is exciting news, considering that rehabilitation is considered successful if the survival rate is above 50%, making it similar to its real ecosystem function.
In 2018, as many as 1,491 reef fragments from 11 genera were transplanted into artificial reefs, with a survival rate of 66%. In 2019, as many as 544 reef fragments from 13 genera were transplanted into artificial reefs, with a survival rate of 64%. In 2020, as many as 2,159 reef fragments from 13 genera were transplanted into artificial reefs, with a survival rate of 64%.
“We hope that transplantation using PVC module can enrich the rehabilitation method for coral reefs in Indonesia. In addition to several advantages, such as environmentally-friendly material, easy process, and an affordable cost, we will continue to conduct an in-depth study on using this PVC module,” said the Marine Ecosystem Program Manager of KEHATI Foundation, Yasser Ahmed.
Another fact is that coral reef seedlings have also managed to grow naturally on artificial reefs. In 2019, as many as 40 seedlings managed to grow, followed by 335 seedlings in 2020. Until 2020, 335 reef recruitment colonies have managed to attach and grow on artificial reefs. Reef recruitments on artificial reefs are dominated by Pocillopora genera, which are in the process of becoming pioneer reefs. These types of reefs can colonize substrate immediately, therefore are pioneers in colonizing new substrates.
The implementation of this artificial module in Sangiang Island is done in two rehabilitation areas, namely in Legon Bajo, Legon Waru, and reef nursery in Tembuyung. In addition to coral reef transplantation, gathering ecological data and water samples for environmental DNA (eDNA) to learn the biodiversity in Sangiang Island’s waters are also conducted.
Based on the visual ecological observation in 2021, there are 30 coral fish species in Legon Waru, 33 species in Legon Bajo, and 20 species in Raden (non-rehabilitation area). This indicates that the rehabilitation areas, namely Legon Waru and Legon Bajo, have higher coral fish species riches compared to the non-rehabilitation area, namely Raden.
Another ecological observation data found 45 macrobenthos species in Legon Waru, 40 species in Legon Bajo, and 23 species in Raden. This indicates that the rehabilitation areas, namely Legon Waru and Legon Bajo, have higher macrobenthos species riches compared to Raden (non-rehabilitation area).
Macrobenthos is defined as animals and plants that live above or below the bottom of the sea, or on areas called the benthic zone and the bottom of the edge areas. Benthos are different from plankton that floats freely in the water.
There are 8 institutions involved in the coral reef rehabilitation program in Sangiang Island, Banten, namely PT. Asahimas, KEHATI Foundation, Terangi Foundation, Maritim Muda Nusantara, BKSDA West Java, Oceanogen Environmental and Biotechnoogy Laboklinikum, Laboratory of Marine Biodiversity and Biosystematics IPB, and Marine Science and Diving School IPB. The coral reef rehabilitation activity in Sangiang Island also engaged the local community as they are mentored to carry out the coral reef rehabilitation activity in a sustainable manner.
“Yayasan KEHATI Foundation is open to collaborating with various parties on its coral reef rehabilitation program in Sangiang Island, Banten. As a natural tourism park area, the conservation of the marine ecosystem contained within must continue to be maintained. And this needs the support of many parties,” closed Yasser.