Selayar: our pilot site in Indonesia

Selayar, an archipelago of 130 islands (26 of which are inhabited) in South Sulawesi.

Selayar has 60 village-level marine protected areas, covering 52 coastal villages, a national marine park, Takabonerate, 11 sub-districts, 57 coastal Villages and 74 non-coastal villages.

Covering a total area of 10,503.69 km2, including 9,146.66 km2 of sea and 1,357.03 km2 of land, Selayar encompasses a wide expanse of coral, including the third-largest coral atoll in the world.

The waters of Selayar are a meeting place for currents from the Indian and Pacific oceans and border deep ocean waters. This geography gives rise to rich and fertile pelagic fishery resources with high economic value, such as tuna and skipjack, and fish exports to Bali and Hong Kong.

As well as the potential of its fisheries, Selayar’s coastlines have potential for development of marine tourism, supported by the white sand, and the many coral reefs and turtle nesting sites.

Selayar faces obstacles and challenges because of the over-exploitation of reef fish using destructive methods and extensive coral mining. In addition, marine fisheries infrastructure is still relatively minimal.

Fast facts on Selayar

  • An archipelago of 130 islands (26 of which are inhabited)
  • Approx. 90% of the total area of 10,503.69 km2, is marine
  • 11 sub-districts, capital Benteng
  • Population: approx. 130,000
    • Selayar Island (100,000 people) - 60% farmers eg, coconut, clove, orange, rice, nutmeg
    • smaller islands (30,000 people) - 90% fisherman
  • ​Largest industries: Fisheries and agriculture (coconut, clove, oranges, rice, nutmeg) 
  • Two small, foreign-owned tourism resorts, four dive operators
  • Protected, conserved marine areas
    • 60 village-level marine protected areas (MPAs)
    • Two district-level Marine Conservation Areas (MCAs) – Gusung and Kayuadi
    • A national marine park, Takabonerate (incl. third-largest coral atoll in the world)

Aquaculture pens fattening wild-caught fish for export off Gusung Island, Selayar. (M.Paterson)

Hear about Selayar

Professor Peter Mumby
Chief Scientist, CCRES
Professor of Marine Ecology, School of Biological Sciences
The University of Queensland