Locals Committed to Protecting Dugong in Raja Ampat

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  • TEMPO.CO, Sorong - Indigenous people in Aduwei village in Raja Ampat, West Papua are committed to protecting dugongs.

    Adewei village chief Karel Fatot said that dugongs are easily found in the waters off the village. “Indigenous people are protecting dugongs and other marine species with a tradition the locals call Sasi,” he said yesterday, May 29, in Sorong.

    He explained that Sasi is a traditional prohibition on catching dugongs and fish in the waters off the village. “People may only catch fish in the waters off the village after the Sasi period ends or Sasi is revoked. Sasi typically applies for six months in a year,” he said.

    According to him, people may catch fish after the end of Sasi period but may not hunt dugongs.

    Locals protect dugongs because the animals attract tourists.

    He said that Aduwei village in Raja Ampat boasts a beautiful marine attraction and tourists can easily interact with dugongs. He, however, bemoaned the lack of transport modes in the area and marketing campaign to draw visitors.