Marine Protection for Murex Bangka House Reef
One of the highlights of diving at any of our resorts in North Sulawesi (Manado, Bangka and Lembeh) is that they all offer stunning House Reefs. Whichever destination you choose to stay (or all three with our Passport to Paradise), you’ll have a phenomenal dive site just a step off the beach.
Murex Bangka House Reef is no exception and this colorful sloping reef is home to a plethora of marine species. As you enter the crystal clear waters from Murex Bangka’s white sand beach you’ll be immediately captivated by the shallow reef top, bommies and fields of staghorn corals which attract schools of colorful damselfish. As you venture further from the shore you’ll find the impressive sloping reef which boasts sea fans, hard coral bommies, and kaleidoscopic soft corals. The House Reef is packed with unique critters including pygmy seahorses, frogfish, stingrays, mantis shrimps, octopus, cuttlefish and a host of tropical reef fishes. Remember to keep an eye out to the blue to catch a glimpse of schooling fusiliers and passing pelagics including eagle rays, tuna, barracuda and trevally. With such a diversity of marine life inhabiting the House Reef, our local village of Lihunu were as keen to protect it as we are.
We are extremely fortunate that the local community in Lihunu village understand the importance of protecting shallow reefs as both spawning areas and nurseries for juvenile fish. Earlier this year the village decreed that 35% of the shoreline in front of Lihunu village be declared a Marine Protected Area at official village level and they extended the decree to include our House Reef! The Decree has also been sanctioned by the Marine and Ocean Office of North Minahasa.
In order to support this incredible village initiative, Murex Dive Resorts have contributed the funding for the buoys and ropes which demarcate the protected area in front of the village and Murex Bangka. Both protected areas are now no-fishing areas.
Diving and snorkeling continues on our house reef and we are excited to see the impact that this protection has on our marine life. In the near future we plan to carry out coral monitoring in partnership with Ocean Gardener to track changes on the reef. To ensure that the Marine Protection is enforced, any fishing boats entering either protected area will be reported to the village. Lihunu village will continue to work with the local government and enforce the protection while Murex Dive Resorts will take responsibility for maintaining the boundaries of both zones.
Lihunu Village has also taken part in Ocean Gardener community training to learn more about corals and coral farming. This latest development on Bangka Island is one which shows their commitment to reef protection and sustainable fishing – one which we whole heartedly support. If you would like to know more about corals, their importance to our diving environments and how to identify different species, why not take part in an Ocean Gardener course while you are here?
A very big thank you to Lihunu Village from all of us at Murex Dive Resorts