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The Morotai Islands District formed in November 2008 covers 33 islands which include seven inhabited and 26 deserted or uninhabited islands. North Maluku Province is the largest island and is geographically bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the North, Sulawesi Sea on the West, Halmahera Sea on the East, and the Morotai Strait on the South.
As an Island District, Morotai has abundant fisheries and marine resources. Such resources are set as one of the national priorities to accelerate economic growth from the fisheries sector in order to fulfill local and national requirements. Based on fish-production estimations, Morotai contributes about 61,167 tons of fish per year. This Island District has been declared as a Fisheries Management Area (Wilayah Pengelolaan Perikanan – WPP) for 715, 716, and 717 by the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries.
The USAID-SEA Project supports the Indonesian Government (GOI) to improve fisheries and Marine Protected Area (MPA) management at FMA-715 that covers three provinces including Maluku, North Maluku, and West Papua. Based on inputs from North Maluku Provincial Government and stakeholders’ consultation, the Morotai Islands District was selected as one of the priority sites for MPA establishment under USAID SEA Project.
The Coral Triangle Center (CTC) as one of the project implementing partners has agreed to work in this area to support Morotai MPA establishment for fisheries, tourism, and marine biodiversity in order to bring benefits for the local communities as well as enhance food security. As part of the activities to collect baseline data on biophysics and socio-economic, CTC conducted a scoping study at Morotai Islands on March 16 – 28, 2017.