Location: Pulau Bontosua, Indonesia
Collaborators: Amelia Moore, Carlos Garcia-Quijano (URI); Muhammed Kurnia, Buchari Mengge, Suparman Abdullah (Hasanuddin University)
Goal: Determine the impact of a large-scale coral reef restoration project on fisheries catch, the fish value chain, social dynamics, and food security using a mixed-methods eco-anthropological approach.
Significance: Research outputs from this work will contribute to the growing interest in the feasibility of coral reef restoration for improving livelihoods and wellbeing in small remote island communities.
Background: Destructive fishing practices and climate change have severely damaged coral reef systems throughout Indonesia. Not only do these stressors kill fish and other organisms, but they also destroy coral skeletons and prevent new coral recruits from building a reef. The consequences for coral reef fisheries are potentially dramatic, leading to changes in relationships within communities that are dependent on reefs for food security and livelihood. Coral restoration may provide one way to rehabilitate the reef system, positively influence fisheries, and enhance local fish value-chains but there is doubt as to the social and ecological scalability of such approaches. Using a mixed-methods interdisciplinary approach to studying the social-ecological response of small-island communities is the only way to understand the complexities of such ecosystem restoration.
Funding: Mars Sustainable Solutions, US Agency for International Development (USAID)