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October 1997 Vol. 12, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Operation Wallacea

from the October, 1997 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

The Tukang Besi Archipelago may be remote, but its marine diversity has been well documented. Operation Wallacea, a nonprofit organization using volunteer divers, has conducted an extensive survey of the areas marine life since 1995. Its latest report cites over 3,000 species of fish classified so far, and more than 70 different coral genera. Operation Wallacea is scheduled to end this month but plans to continue as a for-profit operation, making this an alternative resort for diving the region.

Wakatobi Divers and Wallacea, through education and cooperation with the local fishermen, have effectively stopped dynamite and cyanide fishing in the region. Both operations should be applauded, not only for their conservation activity but for their efforts in using ecotourism to sustain it. With eco-dive tourism providing an income-generating use of their marine resources, locals can be persuaded to reduce fishing pressure, and they have an incentive to fend off foreign intruders preying in their waters.

Wallacea: phone 011-44-1790-763665, fax 011- 44-1790-763417. E-mail: tcoles@ecosurveys.winuk.net

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