Location: Pulau Bontosua, Indonesia
Collaborators: Amelia Moore and Carlos Garcia-Quijano (URI), Hasanuddin University (Indonesia)
Goal: Determine the impact of a large-scale coral reef restoration project on island fisheries catch, fisher behavior, social dynamics, and income.
Significance: Research outputs from this work will contribute to the growing interest in the feasibility of coral reef restoration for improving livelihoods and food security in small 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 and positively influence fisheries, 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