The project was initiated in 2008, with a mission to collaboratively conserve sea turtle in Anambas Islands. We focused the project on Durai Island, where thousands of green and hawksbill turtles nest, the island is considered the most populated sea turtle beach in the region. In the past, the sea turtle eggs were collected to be sold and consumed, thus, the sea turtle nesting have declined significantly - approximately 75% in the last 40 years.
In 2009, Biosphere Foundation, together with Premier Oil, managed to establish a long-term deal with the land owners of Durai, as well as the island caretaker, Pak Lahanie, whose previous job include collecting the turtle eggs and selling them to the nearest market. As of January 2010, Pak Lahanie's job description changed to protect the turtle nests. Not only increasing the population of sea turtles in Anambas, but the project can result in an increase of fish around Durai due to an influx of baby sea turtles as food, thus beginning the process of restoring a healthy food web with keystone predators
Sea turtle will come to the beach to dig a nest and lay eggs
Pak Lahanie - Caretaker of Durai
Baby Turtle rushing to the sea
A luxuriant, biodiverse reef surrounds Durai, but like all reefs in the region, it is threatened by over-fishing dynamite and cyanide fishing, anchor damage, as well as oil and mercury contamination from oil drilling and bleaching caused by climate change.
Our future effort will include turning Durai into Marine Protected Area, as well as engaging the community to participate in making the MPA a no-take zone. This include building awareness about how this will restore depleted fisheries and sea turtle populations, bring back the health of reefs and create healthy ecosystems.