The Kofiau-Boo Islands Marine Protected Area (MPA) is located at the western end of Raja Ampat and covers 148,979 hectares. The MPA contains 44 small islands, and is divided into two island groups, the Kofiau Islands in the east and Boo in the west, both of which come together to form one district – the Kofiau District.
The region is characterized by its high diversity of coral species, with an average of 292 species per site (Donnelly et al., 2002). For islands of this size, this represents a remarkably high species richness. Within the MPA, coral reefs cover 13,800 hectares, whilst mangrove forest covers 3,413 hectares (Purwanto et al., 2012).
The coral reefs in the Kofiau-Boo Islands MPA are generally fringing reefs which surround the islands, with indications of coral bleaching and disease under 1%. Indicators of functional fish biomass has been recorded at 296.1 kg per hectare, while economical fish is 135.7 kg per hectare (Ahmadia et al., 2017).
In addition to its coral reefs and fisheries, the Kofiau-Boo Islands MPA is also an important migration corridor for various species of whales and dolphins, including sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), killer whales (Orcinus orca), bryde whales (Balaenoptera brydei ), bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), Indo-Pacific bottle noses (Tursiops aduncus) and dugongs (Dugong dugon).
The local people in the Kofiau-Boo Islands are descendants of the Betew Tribe who have close links and regional languages similar to the Biak Tribe in the northern part of the Bird’s Head Seascape. The majority of the livelihoods of local people in the region come from fishing activities and also seasonal plantations such as copra ( dried ‘meat’ or kernel of the coconut).
Similar to other locations throughout Raja Ampat, local communities in the Kofiau-Boo Islands also continue to practice the traditional natural resource management approach, named ‘Sasi’ – which permits or forbids specific activities at a particular location in order to sustainably manage resources.
As an example, a Sasi relating to sea cucumber fishing activities would involve closing an area where sea cucumber populations exist to all fishing activities for an extended period of time, and then opening the area (usually around special religious days or holidays) for a short period of time to fishing activities. With this approach, sea cucumber populations can be replenished during closed periods, to ensure a sustainable harvest over the long term.
The Sasi approach, along with No Take Zones and Utilisation Zones is an important tool for improving and managing local fisheries and marine environments.
Zoning – Kofiau Boo MPA
Click Map to expand, and refer to Legend below
The table below provides a general description of the main activities that occur within Marine Protected Areas. For a detailed description of all activities affected by Zoning Regulation, please refer to Table 14, pages 48-51 of the Raja Ampat Marine Park Management and Zonation Plan 2019-2038
Click table to englarge.