TEMPO.CO, Kupang - The Head of East Nusa Tenggara Provinces Environment Office, Benyamin Lola, stated that various studies have revealed that Sawu Sea has high biodiversity potential with identified coral reefs covering 63,339,32 hectares.
"The East Nusa Tenggara is one of the best areas in Indonesia that has tremendous coral reef potential," he said on Tuesday.
Sawu Sea has more than 500 species of corals; 5,019.53 hectares of mangroves; 5,320.62 hectares of sea grass beds; and 1,769.1 hectares of estuaries.
In addition, at least five of six turtle species in the world, as well as 30 species of marine mammals (whales and dolphins), including the endangered sperm whale and blue whale, can be found in Sawu Sea ecosystem.
"These types of mammal are easy to find in the area and are pelagic and demersal species, he noted.
To maintain the natural potentials, the East Nusa Tenggara provincial administration has implemented regulations on coral reef management through the Governor Regulation Number 1/2009.
The regulation manages the coral reefs to support the lives of people living in coastal areas.
"Every June 6, we celebrate Coral Triangle Day," Benjamin said, adding that the day aims to foster a sense of love, commitment, and care to safeguard and harness the reef ecosystem in a sustainable manner.