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Enforcement To be successful the enforcement
of regulations in and around Komodo National Park must be a cross-sector effort, involving Park authorities, police, fisheries services, the army, the navy, legislative bodies and local communities. Currently, The Nature Conservancy employs an enforcement coordinator who organizes patrols of the Park. These patrols include representatives of local park rangers, the navy, and the police. With the aid of a speedboat, the patrols go out once a week for a two day period and cover the full area of the Park. Terrestrial patrols are implemented on foot.
Since the inception of patrols in 1995, blast fishing has declined by more than 80%. But considerable further protection is needed. The demersal
fish stocks and coral reefs, already damaged, continue to be threatened by a variety of destructive methods, including the use of 'hookah'
compressors, reef gleaning
, fish traps
, gillnets, and bottom hook and lines.
At present the most pressing issue is the development of a floating ranger station. This station would be a larger wooden boat with the capability for over-night stay. Such a device would allow patrollers to anchor in vulnerable sites overnight enabling them to maintain a more effective patrol. Patrollers also need adequate equipment (including communication methods, security devices [handcuffs, guns], and transport, etc.).
In the future we hope to increasingly involve local communities in the enforcement network as they are the most efficient eyes and ears of the enforcement team. Moreover, immediate steps need to be taken on land to prevent further degradation of the mangrove habitat and to halt poaching (something similar to the patrol system for the marine sector).