We are very proud to announce the recent publication of Indo Ocean Project’s survey data from the Penida Project. A very big thank you to our dive partners, Reeflex Divers, and to all our interns who have been instrumental in the field work required to produce this report.

Keep reading to find out more…



Marine Protected Areas (MPA) safeguard threatened marine ecosystems by protecting fish populations, limiting anthropogenic stressors, and providing additional livelihood for local populations. However, many MPAs do not function effectively due to lack of funding and manpower, engendering the need to find long-lasting, sustainable solutions to monitor and maintain MPA performance. In this study, we utilized citizen science involvement to survey select fish families (Lutjanidae, SerranidaeCarangidaeScombridae, Sphyraenidae, Lethrinidae, and Scaridae), key fish species (large and vulnerable piscivores), and megafauna in Nusa Penida MPA, Indonesia using the roving survey method. We found that despite a short training period and fast turnover rate, our participants were able to identify all target taxa, as well as detect spatial and temporal trends in fish and megafauna assemblages. An increase in fish density during austral winter was correlated with seasonal upwelling phenomena induced by the southeast monsoon, while site variations were influenced by local topography and type of current. We conclude that citizen science participation contributed immensely to the monitoring of Nusa Penida MPA, and subsequent self-sustained, long-term monitoring will be invaluable for future policy and decision making in MPA management and enforcement.”

Title: Citizen science approach for monitoring fish and megafauna assemblages in a remote Marine Protected Area

Authors: Rinaldi Gotama, Serena J. Stean, Lauren D. Sparks, Rahmadi Prasetijo, Pascal Sebatian 

Journal: Regional Studies in Marine Science

Volume 64December 2023, 103058


  1. Indo Ocean Project
  2. Faculty of Health Sciences, Science and Technology, Universitas Dhyana Pura
  3. Indonesian Marine Education & Research Organization

Published date: 27th June, 2023


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Nusa Penida (Bali), Tanjung Bira (South Sulawesi), Raja Ampat (West Papua)