Marine Science

p-ISSN: 2163-2421    e-ISSN: 2163-243X

2015;  5(1): 1-5


Local Wisdom Mane’e and Its Impact on Fish Resources and Environment in Nanusa Islands, North Sulawesi, Indonesia

Emil Reppie

Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Science, Sam Ratulangi University Manado, Indonesia

Correspondence to: Emil Reppie, Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Science, Sam Ratulangi University Manado, Indonesia.


Copyright © 2015 Scientific & Academic Publishing. All Rights Reserved.


Mane’e is one of the local wisdoms in coral reef fisheries management that is still being conducted in Nanusa Islands, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Mane’e means a statement of agreement of local community to perform an activity together and rituals to prepare fishing equipment and carry out fishing operations together on the basis of cooperation, solidarity and unity. But mane'e itself is actually a serial end of a customary law process called Eha, which means as a warning not to do or a ban for all public to take natural resources during certain time. Fishing gear is very traditional, made of forest rope (creeping plant), then joined in a row to around 3-4 km long and wrapped with young coconut leaves. The gear is set circle to a reef flat as location of mane’e in the morning at high tides. Both ends of the rope are pulled toward the coast so the fish could be trapped in the middle of the lagoon at the lowest tide. Mane'e ceremony is conducted at nine sites and each has its own name. Rannesite on Intata Island has been established by the regency government as a tourism icon mane'e festival and open to the public. Mane'e through Eha system' actually has a positive impact on compliance with local communities. But the intervention of outsiders has give negative impact in the form of changes in beliefs and social structure, fishery resources damage and the environment deteriorations.

Keywords: Mane’e, Eha’, Nanusa Islands, Local wisdom, Coral fisheries management

Cite this paper: Emil Reppie, Local Wisdom Mane’e and Its Impact on Fish Resources and Environment in Nanusa Islands, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, Marine Science, Vol. 5 No. 1, 2015, pp. 1-5. doi: 10.5923/

1. Introduction

Coral reefs and their associated marine life constitute one of the great natural treasures of Indonesia, both their quality and quantity, covering approximately 50,000 square kilometers of corals, the second largest of the world coralreefs after the Australian Great Barrier Reef, but its biodiversity is the richest in the world [1, 2]. Indonesia is also located at the center of the world’s coral reef diversity [3-5]. This wealth in biodiversity emphasizes Indonesian’s importance in global efforts to conserve marine resources and preserve biodiversities [6].
Coral reefs play an important role to the human life, such as source of food, medicines and raw materials for industry, tourism beaches, education and research. They are also a potential source of foreign exchange from divers and other marine tourists. In addition, they provide a natural barrier against wave erosion, spawning ground, nursery ground and feeding ground for various commercial coral fish species [7].
Unfortunately, the development activities in the coastal areas in recent years have given various significantly negative impacts on the quality of coral reef resources in Indonesia. Many studies reported that the quality of coral reefs in Indonesia is declining rapidly [4, 2], and only 29 percents of Indonesian coral reefs are in good to excellent conditions [8, 9, 4, 10, 2]. One of the primary extractive activities on reefs is fishing.
Many efforts have been done to secure the coral reef ecosystem of Indonesia, such as the establishment of conservation and rehabilitation regulations and its implementation programs,but those efforts have not worked well in the field and have faced a variety of problems.
The implementation of management instruments in many places of the world are not effective, law seems to be violated, and impact assessment procedures are rarely followed, conflict interests become worse and worse and traditional rights are swept away [11]. Therefore, the environmental deterioration has extended in many places.
Community-based programs are important to consider as an alternative to combat cyanide and blast fishing, besides law enforcement and surveillance [12], or looking at the integrated efforts that involve all societies, such as using indigenous knowledge to improve coastal fisheries management. Mane’e is one of the indigenous coral reef fisheries management strategies that are still practiced in Nanusa Islands, North Sulawesi, Indonesia [13]. The study was aimed to make description of Mane’e system and evaluate its impact on fish resources and environment. This information could be used as an alternative for the establishment of responsible fisheries or coral reef biodiversity conservation.

2. Method

The research was conducted in Kakorot an Island and Nanusa Islands, in May 2013 during Mane'e ceremony. Primary data were collected through direct observations, interviews with traditional leaders, religious leaders, educators and village leaders. Other data were obtained through a video recording of Mane'e ceremony implementation.

3. Results and Discussion

Nanusa Islands, also called Porodisa (means paradise), are Volcano Islands located in the residential areas of Talaud Islands, North Sulawesi. Geographically, these islands consist of four very small inhabited islands, i.e. Miangas Island. (northern outer part), Marampit Island, Karatung Island and Kakorotan Island, where the Mane’ehas beenpracticed. Whereas the uninhabited islands, Garat Island (local law protected island (Kalpataru-environment price recognition), Mangupung Island, Intata Island and Malo Island are plantation islands of local community. Kakorotan Island and Intata Islandhad been one islandin the past, but swept away by big tsunami disaster in 1914. All these islands politically have very strategic position since they are outer bondaries to the neighborhood country, philippine (Fig. 1).
Mane’ehas been performed in all islands but the society structure and belief has changed with time, so that only local community in Kakoratan Island has still strictly held their customary law system. Other important terrestrial natural resources beside local plantations are climber crabs (Birgus latro) and moleo birds (Macrocephalon sp.).
Figure 1. Geographic position of Indonesia outer islands in North Sulawesi Province
Local Wisdom
Mane’e is one of indigenous fisheries management which has been conducted from generation to generation by the local people since 16th century in Nanusa Islands of North Sulawesi. Mane’e means a statement of agreement of local community to do activities together, rituals to prepare fishing equipment and carry out the fishing operations together, or fish harvest ceremony together. Mane`e could also be interpreted as an activity to implement fishingoperations on the basis of cooperation, solidarity and unity. Mane'e itself is actually a series end of a customary law process called Eha’ which means a warning not to do or a ban on all people to take natural resources during certain time (closing harvest season or periodic closures).
There are two kinds of Eha’. First. land Eha’: closing season for harvesting natural resources on the islands, like coconut, banana, cassava, sweet potatoes and other land natural resources.Second, sea Eha’: closing fishing season and fishing ground, which forbid people to enter some beaches and coral reef waters. Eha’ has been established by local customary institution together with village government and religion institution.
Basic Principle
The traditional knowledge of this Eha’, is mainly based on trust and community compliance, not greedily exploiting the limited natural resources on very small islands as Nanusa Islands. Eha’ guard for law enforcement called mangangeha will be chosen a number of men from ten Tribe Headsfor one year. Anyone who violates the rule will be punished by moral sanctions or some money decided by customary law institution, becauselocal communitybelieves that any violation would cause some natural calamity in their villages.
Mane’e Location and implementation time
Mane'e ceremonyis conducted at nine sites (Fig. 2), and each has its own name, Lenggoto, Ale'e, Apan and Dansunan in Kakoraotan Island, Ranne (national site), Abuwu and Ondenbui in Intata Island, and Malele and Sawanin Malo Island. Implementation of mane’e is once a year at each site in May to June. Fishing gear will be deployed at the sea during a high tide (spring tide), usually the day after the new moon or the full moon, and its time is determined through traditional rituals of Manee.
Figure 2. Islands of mane’e practices
Process of Mane'e ceremony
During this event, there is no difference in community status, either religionor life status. Process of Mane'e ceremony is conducted through nine stages, including prayers to the Lord that all the work going well and blessed, as follows:1)Maraca Pundagi (cutting the forest ropes); 2) Mangolom Para (requests to God); 3) Matuda Tampa Pane’ea (go to the location of the ceremony); 4) Mamabi U’Sammi (making fishing gear); 5) Mamoto U’ Sammi (casting the fishing gear); 6) Mamole U’ Sammi (pullingthe gear shoreward); 7) Manganu Ina (take or catch the fish); 8) Matahia Ina (dividing the catch); and 9)Manarimma Alama (thanksgiving to God).
Fishing Gear and Process
Fishing gear used in Mane’e ceremony is very traditional, made of forest rope - a type of creeping plant which is easy to grow in the forest of Nanusa Islands, then joined in a row to form a rope around 3 -4 km in length and wrapped with young coconut leaves. Preparation of Mane’e ceremony requires 3- 4 days before the main event. Ratumbanua (traditional leader) duty is to ask the Lord to grant the ease and a lot of catches during the mane'e event.
The fishing gear is set circle to a reef flat as location of mane’e by a small boat using paddles in the morning when the sea being high tides. Free divers with hand-made goggles follow the line in certain distance to guide the fish school from the deep into the center of shallow lagoon while the tide is going out. The divers should identify sharks and guide them out from the circle line, because the people believe that it is a bad sign for local community in future. Both ends of the rope are pulled towards the coast to minimize the circle of rope so that the fish are trapped in the middle of the lagoon at the lowest tide.
When waters is shallow enough, fishing will be firstly initiated by the head of the customary law, and then special guests or government officers, religion leaders and followed by local community and visitors using simple gear or by hand. Catches consist of coral fishes and their associates, such as Serranidae (groupers), Scaridae (parrotfishes), Haemulidae (sweetlips), Acanthuridae (surgeonfihes), Balistidae (triggerfishes), Siganidae (spinefoot), Carangidae (trevallies), Barracudas and some time turtles.
The Impact to Fish Resources and Environment
Mane`e tradition, especially in Ranne site of Intata Island was established by the Government of Talaud Islands Regency as a tourism icon (mane'e festival) and open to public, while eight other locations were closed to the outsiders.The catch of mane'e activity in recent years, howver, tended to decline, both number and size reflecting a decline in aquatic environmental quality around the mane’e site. Many young fish were also trapped in the lagoon die at the lowest tide. Annual Mane’e activities as a tourist attraction areusually attended by thousands of people. In this occassion, when fishing takes place, then the seagrass beds and coral reefs aredamaged because of being trampled by visitors.
After the mane'e ceremony had completed, then garbagesfrom human activities were spread in Intata Island and its surrounding waters. Anchor of the carrier vesselshad also a great contribution to coral damages and water pollution from fuel oil waste or other liquid wastes.Yearly harvestof creeping plants (forest rope) will affect the coastal ecosystems of Mangupung Island as well. Cutting young coconut leaves may also inhibitthe production ability of the coconut itself.
Mane'e activities, as ceremonies customary law, were often intruded by the outsiders. Mane'e Ranne, as a national tourist attraction, wasusuallyattended by officials of central government, butthe local government who feltconcerned to arrange the mane'e activities which sometimes broke the rules of local customary law. This situation could weaken the people’s traditional belief on the local wisdom, and it could also be the reason why this tradition could be gradually left.
Mane'e effective time was predetermined by the customary law, but the outsiders could impose a delay or accelerate the implementation in association with official visit, so that itcould finally forced mane'e ceremony to be conducted at the expense of customary law. Many other customary rules were often not followed by the visitors. These conditions eventually led to changes in beliefs and social structure of local communities that violation of customary law could cause a catastrophe in their village later. Therefore, the implementation value of national mane'e ceremony in Ranne site of Intata Island isnot genuine local customs anymore, and thebenefitof local wisdom could degrade because of the outsiders’ intervention.

4. Conclusions

Mane'e through Eha system' actually has a positive impact on compliance with local communities, so that they are not greedy to exploit the limited natural resources in very small islands. Nevertheless, outsider intervention that violate the customary law couldresult in negative impactson local community’s beliefs and social structure, so that fisheries management traditionally well managed will be gradually degraded and could also cause environmental deteriorations. In spite of that, resources management in this area should be more rationally done and environmetal friendly. Hence, the development of Intata island tourimsshouldbe done with three approaches, prosperity approach (welfare approach), security approach and environmental approach, that the natural resources could be sustainably managed.


[1]  Edinger, E.N., J. Jompa, G.V. Limon, W. Widjatmoko and M.J. Risk. 1998. Reef degradation and coral biodiversity in Indonesia: effects of land-based pollution, destructive fishing practices and changes over time. Marine Pollution Bulletin 36: 617 – 630.
[2]  Chou LM. 2000. Southeast Asian Reefs – Status Update: Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. In: Wilkinson, C. (Ed.). Status of coral reefs of the world. GCRMM. Australian Institute of Marine Science. 117 – 129 p.
[3]  De Vantier L, Suharsono, Budiyanto A, Tuti J, Imanto P, Ledesma R. 1998. Status of coral communities of Pulau Seribu, 1985 – 1995.In: Soemodihardjo, S. (Ed.). Contending With Global Change. Proceedings Coral Reef Evaluation Workshop Pulau Seribu, Jakarta, Indonesia. UNESCO Jakarta Office. 10: 1 – 26.
[4]  Cesar H. 1998. Indonesia coral reefs: A precious but threatened resources. In: Hatziolos, M.E., Hooten, A.J. and M. Fodor (Eds.), Coral Reefs: Challenges and opportunities for sustainable management. Proceedings of an associated event of the fifth annual World Bank Conference on Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development. The World Bank. Washington DC. p. 163 – 171.
[5]  Suharsono. 2001. Regional distribution patterns of acropora and their use in the conservation of coral reefs in Indonesia. . Jurnal Pesisir dan Lautan. Vol. 4 No. 1: 40 – 58.
[6]  Bappenas. 1993. Biodiversity action plan for Indonesia. Indonesian Ministry of Planning. Jakarta. Indonesia.
[7]  Reppie E. Pratasik SB. 2011. Artificial reefs-based integrated coastal fisheries. Presented on International Seminar on Artificial Reef. Manado, February 16th 2011.
[8]  Suharsono, Lillie A, Andamari R. 1997. Report of the working group on coral reefs and ornamental fish. Venema SC (Ed), Report on the Indonesian/FAO/ANDIDA Workshop on the assesment of the potential of the marine fishery resources of Indonesia. FAO Rome 247 p.
[9]  Cesar H. 1996. Economic analysis of Indonesian coral reefs. Environment Department. Work in progress. Toward environmentally and socially sustainable development. The World Bank. 97 p.
[10]  Djohani, R. 1998. Abatement of destructive fishing practices in Indonesia: who will pay? In : Hatziolos, M.E., Hooten, A.J. and M. Fodor (Eds.), Coral Reefs: Challenges and opportunities for sustainable management. Proceedings of an associated event of the fifth annual World Bank Conference on Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development. The World Bank. Washington DC. p. 25 – 29.
[11]  White AT, Hale LZ, Renard Y, Cortesi L. (Eds.). 1994. The need for community-based coral reef management. Collaborative and community-based management of coral reefs. Lessons from experience. Kumarian Press. 1 – 18 p.
[12]  Reppie E, Lalamentik L T X. 2000. Artisanal fisheries in the Bunaken National Park of North Sulawesi, Indonesia.The 3rd JSPS International Seminar on fisheries science for sustainable fishing technology in Asia toward the 21st century. Bali Island-Indonesia. 19-21 August 1999. TUF International JSPS Project 2000 (161-166). ISBN: 4-925135-08-2.
[13]  Reppie E, Labaro IL. and. Telleng ATR. 2007. Mane’e: Indigenous Coral Reef Fisheries Management In Nanusa Islands, North Sulawesi. Buletin PSP - FPIK, IPB Vol.XVI. No.3, Desember 2007.