Avoiding Over Fishing by Raja Ampat

Doberai Private Island - Raja Ampat Eco Resort

Doberai Private Island – Raja Ampat Eco Resort

Raja Ampat has been known as one of the best natural tourist destinations in Indonesia. Raja Ampat’s reputation can be owned because the local community has a direct contribution in preserving the environment.

In fact, they have a tradition that is routinely carried out for environmental preservation, called the tradition of samson or also known as the sasi ceremony.

Through this tradition, Raja Ampat proved to be an area with abundant marine wealth. According to data from Conservation International, Raja Ampat is the habitat of around 75 percent of coral species in the world. In addition, Raja Ampat is also home to as many as 1,427 species of reef fish, dozens of species of sharks, hundreds of types of molluscs, whales, manta rays, dolphins, or turtles.

Then, how exactly do the people of Raja Ampat do the samson tradition? This tradition is a custom held by the Matbat, a tribe that is a native of Misool Island.

The Samson tradition is carried out as a form of agreement between the Matbat tribe and other tribes in the Raja Ampat Islands. In language, samson is a word in the Matbat language that has the meaning of prohibition.

The Matbat people carry out the samson tradition every year. Starting from the implementation of Samson until the specified time – usually around 6 to 7 months – the prohibition applies to taking anything from the waters around the Raja Ampat Islands. The provisions of this ban apply not only to members of the Matbat tribe, but also to migrants.

In its implementation, the Samson tradition was led by a community leader called Mirinyo who then stuck a prohibited sign in the form of a bay tree trunk.

Not to forget, the ban sign called gasamsom is also accompanied by several offerings, such as cigarettes, tobacco, areca nut, or red cloth. The prohibition period applies to the blowing of the triton skin by Mirinyo.

During the triton blowing ceremony, the Matbat people also expressed their gratitude and appeals to the guards and residents of the sea.

The implementation of the Samson ceremony usually lasts around 7 days, beginning with the surrender and determination of the marking device. In addition, there was also a procession which became an announcement to local residents regarding the existence of the Samson ceremony. At the same time, the prepared offerings will be dissolved for offerings to the inhabitants of the sea.

The Samson tradition is effective because the community and the government are directly involved as supervisors. Not only that, those who are proven to violate will also be punished. In ancient times, the punishment was in the form of whip and pasung. At present, the sanctions are in the form of seizure of marine products which are then handed over to customary officials.