Located near the Togean Islands, which are a focus for tourism, Tanjung Api is often overlooked. It is a headland surrounded by villages and coral reefs, which have been designated a marine nature reserve. A recent survey showed that only 4-6 percent of the coral was in good condition, with around 70 percent poor or worse.
Threats: Both the land and marine areas of Tanjung Api are regularly subjected to damaging activities by villagers, whose primary livelihood is fishing. The boundaries are disputed and overfishing is common. Much of the coast has been heavily bombed, and a local company deals in cyanide-caught, illegally sized Napoleon Wrasse. Because officials are reportedly involved directly or indirectly in illegal practices, reporting them is considered a waste of time. Many traditional stocks, such as teripang, have been heavily depleted, mostly from large fishing vessels from outside the area. Protected species targeted include turtles and giant clams. Although turtles are still frequently seen, they no longer lay their eggs on the beaches around the headland, and the market for their meat from immigrant communities and beyond is growing.
Indirect effects on the health of the reef result from increasing timber company activity, which, in turn, results in floods and heavy sediment load runoff. Villages are also negatively affected by timbering, and increasingly they rely on the reefs. Tourism is not beneficial to the area because coastal and reef management practices are not enforced. Most of the tourism originates in larger towns, and much of the economic benefits are funneled to these communities. Because local communities do benefit, they lack the incentive to protect their resources. One proposal put forward is the establishment of eco-tourism lodges managed to benefit local communities. These would act as both an economic incentive and a deterrent to illegal activities. A consortium of NGO’s and concerned local individuals is hoping to work with all stakeholders (the local people, government at all levels, and the private sector) to build a common vision and sustainable future as a pilot Integrated Coastal Management project.