Savu Sea Alliance: Empowering Communities, Saving Marine Life

The Lamakera Story

In January 2014, Indonesia took the giant step of banning all hunting of manta rays in national waters. The new regulation empowered a coalition of manta conservationists and NGOs including Misool Foundation, Reef Check Indonesia and Manta Trust to address the unsustainable, and now illegal, hunting of manta rays in Lamakera.

Our aim was to reduce the hunting, safeguard food security for the coastal communities within East Flores and drive change in marine protection policy in the area. Additionally, this work supported the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

We focus on:

  • Marine Megafauna Research

  • Alternative Livelihoods Development

  • Education & Community Engagement

 In full cooperation with the community, we’ve achieved incredible results; providing small loans for ex-hunters to set up small businesses, establishing services that improve quality of life in the community and engaging the government to garner commitment for long-term change.


Key Successes

  • 91.7% decrease in mantas caught in the period Dec-2015—Dec-2018

  • 107 ex-hunters and community members joined our sustainable fisheries collective and signed a pledge, which is ratified by the government, to stop hunting manta rays

  • Developed a network of community rangers which comprises of 324 members across 33 villages in East Flores

  • Released 21 large marine animals from entanglement in 2018