Project Manaia

The Boulder island “Not Take Zone” in the Mergui Archipelago

The Vision

Boulder Island - in the Mergui Archipelago in Myanmar - is one of our focus areas at the moment with the unique possibility of supporting the work to create a “No Take Zone” around the island, banning dynamite fishing and other destructive practices from this location for good. In order to achieve this goal a wide range of ground work is necessary, which - with the support of our Partners from “Moby Dick Tours” the Team of Project Manaia was able to get started in the season of 2015/16 and of course this work is still ongoing

The Research

In February 2016 the Team of Project Manaia had the possibility to go to Boulder island for a 2 week surveying period, conducting a big amount of data collection, identifying species and charting the area, above as well as under water to file a “Preliminary survey of Boulder island” which will be the key document for authorities when it comes to the decision making process of establishing the No Take Zone around the island and its waters.

The Results

Even though the full report is still in process, several findings are already obvious: Within the limited amount of time we had various endangered species could be identified, both above and under water. Furthermore a highly detailed chart of Boulder island waters could be created as a baseline for any proposing of a No Take Zone.

One coral species that has not yet been identified in the area has been found and will now be double checked for confirmation of the ID and give possibilities for further investigation in the future (Full image library can be found here).
The Species has by now been identified as Heliopora coerulea, which is Red Listed by the IUCN as vulnerable species in the region. This strengthens the case of creating a marine No Take Zone a lot and might give is the key solutions we were looking for.
The research on the island is an ongoing process and a learning experience for everyone involved but every time we get on the island we keep up the work and keep finding new species and tracks throughout the island.

A short report and suggested measures for the Marine part of the island can already be found and downloaded here.
Stacks Image 83
The tracks of our Expeditions in the 2015/16 season show our coverage of 13 islands inside the Mergui Archipelago, with Boulder island being the furthestt west we got and Lampi National park our northern end. In the end of the season we sailed Sea Nomad south to Phuket to be able to work on her in the off season
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