Protecting Nusa Penida’s Dive Sites:
Many Bali Scuba divers who have been lucky enough to dive the waters around Nusa Penida know how beautiful the reefs are and how special the area is – not only is it home to resident manta rays and seasonal mola but it is also frequented by migrating whale sharks, a number of turtle species, sea snakes, various sting rays, sharks, tunas, dolphins and a whole host of reef fish and critters.
What many divers do not know is that Nusa Penida is also an MPA and has been since 2010! An MPA is a Marine Protected Area which means it has been given recognition by the Indonesian Government as an area of importance and deserves protecting. In Nusa Penida fishing with compressors is banned, taking coral is not allowed, harvesting turtle eggs is banned and divers are expected to dive carefully and protect the reef.
This means that the dive sites should stay pristine for years to come and can be enjoyed by many more divers into the future.
Nusa Penida (and Bali) are situated in the heart of the Coral Triangle which is the one place on the planet that has the most marine biodiversity! Around Bali there are 298 species of corals, 576 species of fish – including 5 new species that are found nowhere else! It’s a phenomenal place – and that’s why Bali Scuba dives there daily!
As part of the protection program for this area the waters around Penida have been divided in to “zones” so we have special “zones” where no fishing, tourism, sea weed farming or anything else is allowed – this is a great move forwards as these areas have been very carefully selected to include places where high numbers of juvenile fish are found and also breeding grounds. Every year the marine park management carry out a huge coral and fish survey which takes 7 days to complete – during this time they count, monitor and check the health of coral and fish species to make sure that numbers and health are not in decline – it is no wonder that the reefs continue to thrive!
The Nusa Penida Marine Protected Area is managed by the Coral Triangle Center (CTC) who do an amazing job of not only trying to protect the reefs, marine life and mangrove forests but who also spend a massive amount of time working with the local communities in Nusa Penida – educating them, making agreements with them and giving them the opportunity to be involved in protecting their incredible marine heritage. The creation of the MPA actually involved not only the CTC but 1,200 participants from 16 different villages on Nusa Penida.
The MPA is not just a temporary measure either – CTC have already set down a 20 year management plan for the area which includes taking steps in the future to have patrol boats ensuring that no fishing is taking place within no catch zones. It’s great to know that it is not just Bali Scuba that cares and that this area has such a prosperous and protected looking future!
For more information about the CTC and the Nusa Penida MPA have a look at https://www.facebook.com/CoralTriangleCenter?fref=ts or better still come and see some of the amazing dive sites yourself! To book a Nusa Penida trip with Bali Scuba check out: Nusa Penida Dive Trips
We also want to say a big thank you to Fan Zhang for the amazing images of Nusa Penida that are shown here – thank you Fan!!
Code of Conduct video for diving in the Nusa Penida Marine Park
This great video made by the CTC shows the new Code of Conduct for diving in the Nusa Penida Marine Protected Area as well as showing some of Nusa Penida’s amazing marine life! Please take the time to watch this video – most of the code of conduct can be applied to diving anywhere in the world! Hopefully by diving responsibly we can help to keep the waters of Penida, Lembongan and Ceningan just as beautiful and thriving with life for many, many years to come!