Coral Triangle Center
In support of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) of Timor-Leste, and in collaboration with the Roman Luan Foundation of Ataúro, CTC is helping facilitate the creation of a Marine Protected Area (MPA) covering the waters surrounding Ataúro Island in the Dili Municipality.
Design and development of this MPA has been undertaken through full consultation with the Suco and communities of Ataúro as well as MAF. The proposed MPA covers 13,251.23 ha. A zoning plan, long-term (20 year) management plan and associated regulation has been agreed and produced, delineating key marine areas for full protection, and for sustainable utilization.
The zoning plan incorporates the Tara Bandu conservation areas already established by the communities through support from partners WorldFish and CI, but has elaborated further zoning based on the results of a range of socio-economic, governance and bio-physical surveys.These surveys include manta tow assessments (2014), and surveys of marine biota (reef, seagrass and mangrove habitats), species (reef fish, turtles, cetaceans and megafaunga), fisheries (practices, markets, gears and target species), social demographics (education, economics, and livelihoods), traditional wisdom and tourism livelihood diversification opportunities (2017).
The management plan promotes effective management of the area in order to preserve and sustainably manage marine and coastal resources; to promote enhanced coral cover, mangrove forest coverage and associated fish biomass; and ensure sustainable fishery productivity and enhanced livelihood opportunities.