Lisa Becking gives talk to promote legislation for conservation of marine lakes

May 6, 2017

The Lakes of Gold Expedition has started! Part of the Marine Lakes Team is now at the University of Papua in Manokwari, Indonesia. Lisa Becking gave a presentation on marine lakes in the Bird’s Head Seascape, where she detailed the risks and gave recommendation for protection.

From 3 to 5 May there was an important administrative meeting for the marine and fisheries departments of the province and regency level in Manokwari. The participants included: the Ministry of Marine and Fisheries affairs, the heads of the MPAs, Universitas Papua (UNIPA), The Nature Conservancy Indonesia (TNC), Conservation International Indonesia (CI), and Starling Resources. The reason for the meeting was that currently there is a major administrative change going on. Previously, the responsibility and infrastructure of the MPAs was at the Regency, but from August 2017 onwards, it will lie with the Province (a level higher). In other words: there is a shift in power.

Counterparts of the Marine Lake Team at TNC, CI, UNIPA had asked them to give a presentation on marine lakes, with recommendations and code of conduct. As this is a time of transition, it is a good time to get marine lakes into conservation legislation.

Agustin Capriati, Luca Prins and Amanda Putri (all three MSc students from Wageningen University, currently doing thesis projects at MAE) joined in on the conversation.

The major points they wanted to get across about the lakes in Bird’s Head Seascape:

  1. Get marine lakes formally part of the conservation management plan
  2. Set up a monitoring program
  3. Make code of conduct and info-leaflet for tourists
  4. Close off all lakes except 3 jellyfish lakes
  5. Set up of system of local guides and guards

It seemed like everyone was keen to do this. Each person who was responsible asking for specific wording in order to make it possible. So we’re really hopeful!

(On a side note: this was the first time Lisa presented a full presentation in Indonesian!)


Agustin Capriati is awarded National Geographic Young Explorers Grant

December 1, 2016

Agustin Capriati has been awarded the prestigious Young Explorers Grant from National Geographic - Asia. The objective of the project are twofold: 1) Perform monitoring on jellyfish lakes, and 2) Conduct an awareness-raising program along with local stakeholders and communities. This will serve as a basis to inititiate the conservation of jellyfish lakes.

Recently, Agustin became interested in jellyfish when she read the National Geographic article entitled "The Famous Jellyfish Lake is Running Out of Jellyfish", on current events in Palau. In Wageningen, she met Dr. Lisa Becking, who has been working on the protection of unique jellyfish lakes in Indonesia for several years. The area of Misool of Indonesia is a hotspot of marine lakes, and multiple of them are filled with thousands of beautiful golden jellyfish (Mastigias papua). Unfortunately, there is no conservation and management plan for these unique lakes. This might become a serious issue, since dive operators are currently promoting tourism towards the lakes, which is potentially very harmful.

Agustin therefore applied for the National Geographic Young Explorers Grant, a grant for individuals from age 18-25 which aims to aid their efforts in conservation, research and exploration. She has received the full funding ($5000) to execute the project. With this funding, Agustin will work together with Wageningen University and Research (WUR), Papua University (UNIPA), Conservation International (CI), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and Baseftin Misool Eco Resort to develop a program to conserve the jellyfish in Misool, Indonesia.