In November 21st 2020, the Aquaculture team replanted 5,000 mangrove seeds on mangrove area in Tanroe, Baba Binanga Village, Duampanua district, Pinrang Regency. The replanting was meant to replace the dead 5,000 mangrove saplings that were planted in September 6th 2020. With 280 Pinrang youths from Mangrove Brotherhood (a youth organization that focuses on environmental issues in Pinrang) and the help from locals, we successfully planted 10,000 mangroves in the area.
Half of the mangrove saplings died due to the poor pre-plant caring system. The seeds were left exposed to sunlight for days before planting, then dried and blackened. The improper care to the mangrove seeds was because of fishermen’s lack of experience in producing mangrove seeds. From this issue, the mangrove team and the fishermen community learned to be more cautious in handling the propagules for the future mangroves.
This replanting activity is the first since WWF Indonesia contributed in planting mangroves in Tanroe, Pinrang. Around eighty percent of the 3,000 saplings from August 4th 2019 batch, the 8,000 saplings from September 2019 batch, and the 1,300 saplings from December 23rd survived, while this batch is the first to have to undergo replanting. It is why we speculated that 50% of saplings from the September 6th 2020 batch died because of poor quality of seeds.
Despite the casualty, the replanting activity strengthened the commitment between Pinrang youth from Mangrove Brotherhood with WWF Indonesia in conserving mangroves in Pinrang Regency. On this replanting activity, WWF Indonesia invited 20 volunteers from Mangrove Brotherhood. Planting mangroves in Pinrang was not an easy job since the seeds had to be shipped from Makassar to Baba Binanga by motorcycle through embankment pond. Moreover, the seeds couldn’t be placed in propagules from the locals, so they were placed in propagules from Lakkang area. After the replanting, Mangrove Brotherhood planned to create mangrove nursery independently, as well as to monitor existing mangroves and plant more mangroves in other locations in Pinrang, such as Suppa and Lembang.
In coherence with mangrove replanting activity, there are at least five more areas that have potentials to become dense mangrove sites, and one of them is Bulu Cindea Village in Pangkep Regency that had received 2,000 more mangroves in April 7th 2019 with 70% survival rate. Other areas that have potential to receive mangrove replanting are Tekolabbua Pangkep, Puntondo Takalar, Balang Baru Jeneponto, Luppung Bulukumba, and Lantembun Makassar. These areas show more than 50% of survival rate. These areas will surely add the size to mangrove areas planted by WWF Indonesia. It is expected that the main agenda for coastline conservation in the future will shift from finding new mangrove areas to maintaining the existing mangrove areas.
However, these areas faced challenges. Each area has their own unique challenges from geographical situation to technical issues. For instance, the challenge for mangroves in coastal areas in Makassar Strait like Bonto Bahari Maros, Binanga Sangkara Maros, and part of Puntondo Takalar is tide season. For Pinrang area, other than tide season, the area also faces challenges from plastic waste and pests like goats and cows. Other geographical issues can also be found in some parts of Puntondo Takalar, whereas the area has rocky substrate and thin sedimentation. On the other hand, areas like Bulu Cindea Pangkep, Balang Baru Jeneponto, and Luppung Bulukumba have pest issues that harm mangrove branches with the leeching barnacles and oysters.
The team did area cleanup for plastic waste, seaweed, barnacles, and oysters in Puntondo takalar and Luppung Bulukumba, then followed by mangrove replanting to replace dead saplings. Ideally, replanting mangrove should be done regularly so the living mangrove proportion stays on the good number. Replanting mangrove regularly also helps the mangroves to survive from big waves. Replanting mangroves means adding survival rate for the forest from tide season.