Oceans cover more than 70 percent of the earth’s surface and provide for the coastal communities that accounts for 35 percent of the global population. ASEAN’s 173,000 kilometres of shorelines has at least 500 million coastal people living within 30 kilometres of the reef. This proximity has made nearshore ecosystems vulnerable to habitat change from destructive human activities such as overexploitation, pollution, ineffective governance and coastal development.
Surrounded by severely damaged coral reefs, the fishers of Indonesia’s Seraya Besar, off the west coast of Flores, struggle to make ends meet. Year-on-year fish stocks have shrivelled as the damaged reef can only support limited life.