"Mangrove forests will disappear if they are not conserved under government strict policy and local regulations," Rahman Dako, coordinator of Tomini Bay Sustainable Coastal Livelihood and Management (SUSCLAM) said here Sunday.
He said the mangrove forests in Tomini Bay had been decreasing significantly. Based on a field survey, the mangrove forests in Tomini bay covered 21,122.41 hectares, and reduced by 6,550.20 hectares from the total of 27,672.61 hectares.
The largest reduction was in Parigi Moutong district in Central Sulawesi (4,857.77 hectares) , and the second largest in Pohuwato district in Gorontalo (4,315.87 hectares), and Boalemo district was the third (1,451.80 hectares).
The rate of mangrove deforestation in the last 20 years reached 578.36 hectares per year, or 2.09 percent per year.
"The extent is equal to 826 times of a football field," he said.
He added, about 93.26 percent of the main cause of the mangrove deforestation was the exposure of big farm land the hunt for materials. Mangrove was a kind of shrubs resistant to abrasion and home for many sea birds.(*)