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Bali Community Creates New Rules At Popular Diving Hotspot To Protect Biodiversity

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Community leaders at Tulamben Beach have implemented new rules to help protect the coastline’s exceptional biodiversity. Tulamben Beach is loved by locals and tourists for its world-class diving. The community has implemented restrictions on fishing in the waters off Tulamben Beach to help preserve the coral reefs and the fish stocks in the area. 

The community has agreed to ban fishing-related activities in the area, this includes catch and release fishing. It is hoped that this decision will help increase the number of tourists who want to come and dive in the area. Banning fishing off Tulamben Beach will also help increase fish stocks and protect tropical fish that are not cooked for food from being caught as by-catch. 

Speaking to local reporters the Head of Tulamben Village, I Nyoman Pica, said that the decision was made to help protect biodiversity and futureproof the local economy.

He said ‘this regulation has been made…as an effort to maintain the sustainability of Tulamben Beach because apart from being a diving spot there are also coral reefs and various fish that are not suitable to be caught, so people are prohibited from fishing and also looking for fish’.

He went on to confirm that fishing outside of the area used for diving is still permitted. The community has agreed on the new rules based on discussions about the need to still create revenue from small-scale fishing. Fishermen who used to operate close to Tulamben Beach can still fish in the surrounding waters.

Tulamben Beach in Kubu is northeast of Bali and is a quiet tourist destination loved by divers and ocean lovers. The area caters to travelers who want to experience a relaxed atmosphere and access to nature. The village is a 30-minute drive from Bali’s other popular diving hotspot Amed. 

Divers head to Tulamben Beach to explore the sunken US Cargo Ship the Liberty which was wrecked by a Japanese submarine in 1942. In pre-pandemic high seasons upwards of 100 divers would visit the wreck each day. The waters surrounding Amed and Tulamben are rich with corals and communities are determined to protect the rare habitat for generations to come. 

Bali is committed to ensuring that the island becomes as climate resistant as possible. In recent weeks the local government signed a contract with the Japan International Cooperation Agency to start phase two of the Bali Beach Conservation Project which aims to bring environmental, social, and economic benefits to coastal communities in Bali. The project focuses on beach conservation initiatives in the key tourist areas of Sanur Beach, Nusa Dua Beach, Kuta Beach, and Tanah Lot Temple. 

Although tourism numbers have started to increase, both for domestic and international arrivals, the recovery of the tourism sector has not been balanced. Tourism along the major tourist destinations of Kuta and Nusa Dua has made a strong start but communities in rural areas that offer nature tourism are slower off the mark.

This week the Head of the Tabanan Tourism Office, I Gusti Ngurah Agung Suryana, spoke to local reporters to announce that only 9 of the regencies 26 tourism villages had reopened in full after lockdown.

He said that the demand for adventure, nature, and cultural tourism was not as high as it was before the pandemic. He and his teams are supporting tourism villages in the area to market their experiences on social media in hopes that this will increase the number of bookings. 

According to Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, entrepreneurial spirit is needed to promote all the unique and off-the-beaten-path epereinces Bali has to offer. The community of Tulamben Beach may not have to wait long to see if their ban on fishing has a positive impact on tourist numbers as the island heads into its first fully operating peak seasons since the pandemic began. 

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Matt Ellks

Tuesday 28th of June 2022

Yes but Tulamben & many other coastal villages still dump lots of rubbish into the environment

Wayan Brapa

Monday 27th of June 2022

It is good to protect the habitat. Must also clean garbage off the beaches.