Kofiau Marine Protected Area (MPA) in south Raja Ampat has an area of 170,000 hectares and includes islands, coasts and ocean inhabited by diverse marine life and coral reefs. Kofiau MPA is located within the Coral Triangle and is regionally significant for marine mammals, including killer whales and pilot whales, that visit the area every year.
Kofiau MPA provides a source of food and livelihoods for 2000 people spread across five villages. Local communities in Kofiau are descendants of the Betieu tribe that have a close relationship and similar language to the Biak tribe from the northern part of the Bird's Head. The Kofiau communities have some source of income, most of them from fishing or gardening copra. But today, the resources that support their livelihoods are under threat. Although damaging fishing activities have been largely reduced through enforcement of local patrols, over-fishing and some destructive practices such as explosives still plagued Kofiau MPA.
The communities on Kofiau island continue practicing the traditional resource management approach called 'SASI' (closing areas to fishing for a certain period of time) to regulate significant fish and invertebrate species and allow them to restore their populations. These SASI areas are actively maintained and managed by the community. Combined with No Take Zones, the SASI approach can be an important tool for improving and managing local fisheries.