SEVENSEAS Marine Conservation & Travel Issue 11, April 2016 - Page 66

Imagine for a moment a garbage-strewn harbor bereft of fish, toxic chemicals leaching from the debris into the water. How many times have you seen this in a news article? Last August I visited Bahowo, a small village in North Sulawesi, where that wasn’t the case and it wasn’t a stroke of luck. It was a stroke of intention.

It was dusk and we paddled an Austronesian outrigger canoe through shallow water. Two of the villagers Nyomen and Alexander were taking me to see some mangroves.

“We knew mangroves are nurseries for juvenile fish and protect the coastline from storms,” Nyomen told me. “If we want more fish to return to this coastline, we need the mangroves.” The villagers were very happy when three years ago university students came and planted seedlings. Years before many of the mangroves had been cleared to build a lobster farm that failed, leaving the coastline damaged.

The Peace of


in Indonesia

Writing and Photography

by Liz Cunningham