Friday, September 10, 2010

Coral Reef Preservation in Dorey bay of Manokwari

I have been providing snorkeling tours around some tropical islands in the Dorey bay of Manokwari since the beginning of 2010. Tourists who want to enjoy this interesting marine sport come with their own snorkeling gear such as mask, snorkel and fins. The waters in this bay is quite warm. So, the use of wetsuits is optional. There is a lot of tiny animals in the water that can cause skin problems to snorkelers and scuba divers. So, I recommend that visitors wear swimsuit or wetsuits and apply special lotion to protect their skins.
I don't provide diving or snorkeling gears because they are not available in this town. The trips that tourists like the most are snorkeling tour around Mansinam and Raimuti islands. Here the coral reef are still in good condition especially in places where no or fewer people around. Coral reef is the tropical rainforest of the sea. Why we name it that way? Because the biodiversity of the coral reef is very high. It is even higher than the tropical rainforest. Various species of fish and marine animals can be found living among these wonderful animals. Animals? Coral reefs are animals. They really are. I don't want to discuss the biology of the coral reef here because I have written a lot of articles about it. You can read them here: coral reef.

In recent years the number of wastes dumped into the sea of the Dorey bay Manokwari is rising significantly. During rainy days, tons of plastic cups, bottles and other domestic and industrial wastes flow to the sea after being swept by the rain from the city. These wastes cover the sea surface and blockade sunlight from hitting the surface of the corals. If single cells algae that live in symbiotic relationship with the corals cannot perform the photosynthesis, the coral will die. The wastes also brings bacteria and other diseases that are harmful to the corals. Soon the corals will die and the whole underwater ecosystem will be effected. As a result, the number of fish will decrease and the fishermen cannot catch fish in the nearby water anymore. They have to go further to the open ocean to catch fish. This means they will need larger boats and machines and huge fishnets. When the fish arrive in the market, the price will be higher because the fishermen have to spend more money to catch fish.

So, the snorkeling trips that I provide to foreign tourists will raise awareness among city dwellers to the preservation of coral reef in Dorey bay of Manokwari. They will realize that it is important to protect or preserve the coral reef and keep the sea clean. In addition, the presence of tourists in the Dorey bay of Manokwari will automatically provide side jobs to the fishermen and villagers living around the islands. The added income which they get will improve their living condition so that they will be more appreciative to the coral reef around them. No coral reef means no snorkeling trips and no snorkeling trips offered on the internet means no tourists would come.
There are still a lot of things that I need to do to preserve this wonderful but fragile environment. Educational materials about the importance of coral reef should also be provided to Manokwari facebook users in Indonesian language so that they will be able to read and understand this matter well. I believe that if there are more people give attention to the cleanliness of our sea in the Dorey bay of Manokwari, the corals will be more protected. Coral reef preservation is not the responsibility of tour operators and ecotourism enthusiasts alone. It is the responsibility of all human being. Coral reef provide food and at the same time catch dissolved carbon dioxide and plays a very important role in reducing global warming. If all the corals and forest around the world are restored, the issue of global warming will not be as serious as what we see today. by Charles Roring