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Hugelkultur Garden



Local Marine Protection

Raja Ampat is considered the global centre of tropical marine biodiversity, but its coral reefs are severely threatened by various activities of marine resource utilisation by local residents and migrants in the face of burgeoning tourism development.


Some of these include overfishing, unsustainable fishing methods, and the influx of nutrients and sediments into waters due to deforestation, land clearing for settlement and poor wastewater management. This makes the area an absolute priority for marine conservation.

Crown of Thorns' Outbreak Mitigation

In 2018, when Jack arrived in Raja Ampat, he discovered the archipelago's first Crown of Thorns starfish (COTs) outbreak. It was at its worst here in Kabui bay catalysed by nutrient pollution.


COTs are a pest that when unchecked can destroy many hectares of coral reefs in a short time. The Great Barrier Reef lost half its coral cover between 1985 and 2012. One of the causes of this decline was due to COTs damage which accounted for 42%


Jack and his friend, Norman Van't Hoff, immediately launched a social media campaign to shed light on the incident as a call to action for both local government and NGOs to handle the outbreak on a broader scale.

With the help of a few local community members, they were able to fish out about 2,000 COTs from what is now the lodge's house reef, alleviating the issue before it got worse.

Local Protected Areas

At the time, Norman ran a project known as Sasi which taught local communities in Raja Ampat how to create their own Local Protected Areas (LPAs) to protect their areas from fishing and anchoring.


The name Sasi refers to a traditional form of practice for protecting and conserving natural marine resources that’s been carried out for generations by indigenous people from Raja Ampat.


The project aimed to employ local wisdom as cultural capital to address issues around marine and coastal resource management.


Jack got involved in the project as an opportunity to get to know the region, learn different ways of building capacity around conservation and establish trust and rapport with the local people.

Reef Recovery

This experience informed Jack on how to locally protect the beach and waters in front of Raja Ampat Eco Lodge, establishing our cove as a no-take zone.


As well as no fishing we’ve been coral gardening for 4 years, especially during the bigger wave season, Jack regularly collects broken fragments of coral while he snorkels and transplants them by wedging them between rocks at a roughly 50% success rate. In October 2024 together with we also transplanted 100 sq meters of coral fragments onto wire mesh which you can see if you swim straight out from the Wallace bungalow.


The reef is now home to several different species of fish, three turtles that Jack rescued and released from slaughter at Waisai market and dolphins regularly coming to mate. We keep the reef healthy by regularly removing algae from coral and the sea bed.

There's still so much we can do beyond our shores, which is why we've partnered with The SEA People, a field based non-profit foundation, to locally restore the reefs near us. If you'd like to contribute towards their preservation, please enquire with us

We hope to inspire those with keen ecological interest to support stewardship of this archipelago so it may sustain into the future for generations to come.
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