The Indonesian national park boasts some of the world’s best dive sites and spectacular marine life, but illegal fishing and unsustainable tourism is threatening its Unesco status
It was the unusual thrashing on the water that caught their attention. As those onboard the dive boat in Indonesia’s Komodo national park drew closer, it became clear it was a green turtle entangled in rubbish and thick fishing net.
The divers managed to lift it out of the water, cut the blue bind from its shell and then set the turtle free, but dive operator Ed Statham says it is just one of the increasing and alarming signs the Unesco heritage site is fast being destroyed.
Each day Statham and his team spot boats illegally fishing inside the protected Coral Triangle area, atop some of the best dive sites in the world.
“It is not just fishing with lines and little boats, it is net fishing, anchoring on dive sites, obvious carcasses lying around, shark finning,” explains Statham over the phone from Labuan Bajo.
Read more from source: Destroying the world’s natural heritage: ‘Komodo is reaching a tipping point’