The waters of Koon Island in Moluccas, are known by the locals as “Tagalaya” which means the fish market. It is the breeding ground of reef and pelagic fish as well as spawning ground for grouper and snapper. Koon, located off the eastern coast of Seram Island of Maluku province, is in the territory of the traditional kingdom of Kataloka. In 2014, King Anzhar R. Wattimena of Kataloka, gave a decree called “Ngam” to stop fishing activities in the area to protect the ecosystem. People only can fish in the spillover area, but not in the core zone.
Beyond such protection, the local communities collaborate with WWF through initiatives such as Leawana Patrol Team in protecting the waters and to ensure Ngam is obeyed, and Bansina in developing responsible marine tourism practices to give benefit for the locals. At the end of the day, Koon is not only economically empowered, but also supporting the sustainability of global fish stocks.
A project for WWF-Indonesia – Director, Editor: Giri Prasetyo. Additional footages courtesy of Oscar Ohlsson and Star Abraham (fish spawning), and Stephen Martin-Wallacea Dive Cruises (live aboard cruise). Scriptwriter: Astri Apriyani.