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The Derawan Islands (Indonesian: Kepulauan Derawan) are in the province of East Kalimantan in Indonesia. They include Derawan, Sangalaki, Kakaban, Maratua, Panjang, and Samama Island and submerged reefs and islets. They are located in the Sulawesi Sea, on the coastal shelf of East Kalimantan (2°17'N - 118°13'E).
Located in a biodiversity hotspot, the Derawan Islands feature 872 species of reef fishes, 507 species of coral, and invertebrates, including protected species (5 giants clam species, 2 sea turtles, coconut crab, etc.). Some of the islands harbor the heavily exploited turtle eggs and yet the largest green turtle nesting site in Indonesia.
There are two inhabited islands, namely Derawan (1 village of 1,259 people) and Maratua (4 villages of 2,704 people). Fishing is an important income-generating activity for the community. Since the early 1990s, people have caught live groupers, napoleon wrasse, and lobsters, to fill high demand. There are 3 dive resorts on Derawan Islands, while more additional resorts or facilities are in the planning process.
Problems in Derawan Islands including:
- Overfishing and overexploitation, including turtle egg collection
- Destructive fisheries utilizing cyanide and explosives
- Environmental degradation caused by diving related activities and unsustainable tourism development, especially around the Kakaban lake
- The increase of sedimentation due to intensive logging activities in Berau estuary nearby and in the adjacent watershed areas.
- The increase of sewage pollution cased by growing human population on small islands and the intensive tourism development.
There are 31 named islands (see table)
|No.||Island Name||Hectare (ha)|
|21.||Sodang Besar Island||6145.8|
|29.||Kaniungan Besar Island||73.3|
|30.||Kaniungan Kecil Island||10.2|
|31.||Bali Kukup Island||18.2|
Airport and seaport
To boost tourism, local government will built airport and seaport at Maratua Island and both predicted to operate in 2013. World Wildlife Fund and environmental activists are opposing it due to the construction of the projects will surely affect the turtle habitat and coral reefs on Maratua Island, but the local government apparently focuses more on development projects instead of conservation.
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