Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year notes for the past semester

A Bryde's whale (Balaenoptera edeni) we encountered off the Uluwatu Temple, Bali, November 2015

Since this is the last day of the year, I thought I’ll just write myself some pointers of what I did during the second semester of 2015. Starting with July-August where my colleagues and I were trying to set up CETASI, real pain in the admin. I have to credit Yanti Purnomo as the star in navigating the bureaucratic waters in Indonesia, but Adityo Setiawan, Jaya Ratha and Erdi Lazuardi also provided tremendous support.

August saw me returning to Bali for the Cetacean National Plan of Action (NPOA) meeting. It was a productive meeting; I assisted WWF Indonesia and the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries to build up the early version of the document. So far, the document includes issues such as bycatch, tourism, seismic and acoustic, ocean noise, alternative livelihood, captivity and Marine Mammal Protected Areas. Kudos to Sarminto Hadi, Miasto Yudha and team for pulling off the meeting. We also had our first stranding training workshop for the expatriates in Bali at Seminyak with Whale Stranding Indonesia and Soul Surf Project Bali. Well, not just for the expats, for we also had local participants (and a girl flying from Sabah Malaysia just for this training!), but it was definitely the first English-speaking training that I delivered, and I actually enjoyed it. The CETASI also had our first annual meeting (at my father’s place in Bali, actually), and we carry with us a list of homework to be done... which hasn’t all been done...(palm/face).

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Update on the CETASI, stranding website, and NPOA

Humpback whale, Bali, 2 Oct 2007, by Made Sujana (Tanah Lot Authority)

Where have I been for the last six months?? Sorry for the slow update... But I've been swirling inside the bureaucratic world of NGO registration in Indonesia. But anyway, after about six months of navigating the bureaucratic waters of Indonesia, I'm happy to announce that the CETASI (Cetacean Sirenian Indonesia) has been approved by the government, and we are now a registered NGO in Indonesia. Yay!

Our website is online already;, but I'm planning to move it to another domain registrar because my current registrar (GoDaddy) is getting a bit too pricey. I also need to add ~ $10 per year per site (I have three extensions: .com, .net and .org) if I want my personal information (e.g., address, email and even phone number!) kept secret from the prying online world. That's too much of a price, and hence it will be byebye GoDaddy soon... 

Anyway... the second news is that we've been doing a facelift to the main marine mammal stranding website ( It now includes a more comprehensive database, complete with graphs and filtering system. it will also has a map, but I need to upgrade the package first, so it might have to wait for a few months. So far though, I'm very happy with our database provider (Knack). It's easy to use even for HTML-haters like me, the agents are friendly, embedding to the main website is also easy. I registered our stranding website with Namecheap (very happy about the service) and used Weebly for the web-design and hosting (again, very happy, totally recommended!). I've linked the main website with the new interface just now. The stranding website is still down by the time I post this article, but I hope in 24 hours the website is up and running again. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Cetacean Sirenian Indonesia

the Cetasi logo, from

My colleagues and I have been involved in marine mammal conservation in Indonesia for more than a decade now. In addition to our independent works, we have banded together to improve the marine mammal conservation practices. Our first endeavour was the establishment of a mailing list for marine mammal enthusiasts (Marine Mammals Indonesia), created in 2004 when Yahoo was the king of cyberspace. Then, nine years later, we catapulted our joint efforts further by creating an online stranding database ( We have also conducted some workshops (notably, I should say, the November 2013 national stranding workshop, in addition to several local workshops). Those workshops required funding, the proposals of which we wrote either as individuals or on behalf of other institutions (notably the Indonesian Biodiversity Research Center). 

However, we feel that it’s time now to have our own legal vehicle to conduct our conservation programs. At the very least, it would help with grant application. Thus, since the last few months, Februanty Purnomo (Yanti), Adityo Setiawan (Adit) and myself have been discussing the possibility of legally establishing an NGO fully dedicated to the conservation management of marine mammals. The NGO will cover, inter alia, bycatch and entanglement issues, cetacean watching tourism, biological and ecological assessments, marine mammal protected areas, and stranding management. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Paper on expenditures of business visitor at the Great Barrier Reef Australia

The Great Barrier Reef

Another paper published last year at Tourism Economics. Still have not got the online version, let alone the printed copy. But the abstract is below. I will update it once the PDF is available.

Mustika, P. L. K., Farr, M. and Stoeckl, N. (2014b), 'The potential implications of environmental deterioration on business and non-business visitor expenditures in a natural setting: a case study of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef', Tourism Economics.


Nature-based tourism can be an important source of income for regional economies, but relies on a healthy environment. Using data collected from business and non-business visitors to Australia’s coast adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef, the authors generate estimates of the potential financial impact of environmental degradation, demonstrating a novel way of testing and controlling for hypothetical response bias. More than 90% of non-business visitors and 67% of business visitors came to the region for at least one nature-related reason. Average daily expenditure was similar for both visitor segments (about $190), but the determinants of expenditure varied. All visitors reacted much more negatively to the prospect of environmental degradation than to a 20% increase in (local) prices, although business visitors were much less responsive than non-business visitors. Adjusting for hypothetical response bias, the authors estimate that substantial environmental degradation could reduce visitor expenditures (and thus local tourism incomes) by at least 17%.  

Update 3 August 2016:

The article received its issue number etc last June. You can download the copy here through the Tourism Economics website, or email me at putuliza at gmail dot com. The Harvard version of the citation is this:

Mustika, P., Stoeckl, N. & Farr, M. 2016, 'The potential implications of environmental deterioration for business and non-business visitor expenditures in a natural setting: a case study of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef', Tourism Economics, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 484-504.

New paper: Evaluating the potential disturbance from dolphin watching in Lovina

Happy New Year you all! Sorry for the silence, I've been trying to publish more paper since the last two months. Slow progress, but it's getting there. Hey, at least I published two papers last year (two is definitely not a big number, bad Icha, bad...), and one of them is this note on Marine Mammal Science with DOI 10.1111/mms/12188.

Mustika, P.L.K., A. Birtles, Y. Everingham and H. Marsh. 2014. Evaluating the potential disturbance from dolphin watching in Lovina, north Bali, Indonesia. Marine Mammal Science. DOI 10.1111/mms/12188.

Full PDF is also available at Dropbox.