Indonesia Removes Thousands Of Fish Floating Cages In Jatiluhur Reservoir
About 15,000 of the 23,000 floating net cages (FNCs) in Jatiluhur Reservoir in Purwakarta Regency, West Java, Indonesia began to be removed early last month and will continue to be removed until February 2018. The remaining cages will then be partially removed until the end of next year. An excessive number of cages, up to six times the allowable number, has been blamed for threatening the water supply for Jakarta and Java-Bali’s power supply. Purwakarta Regent Deddy Mulyadi initiated this action.
FNC aquaculture, which mostly produces common carp, started in the reservoir in 1988 and has been a dilemmatic industry in Purwakarta. With an annual production of 70,000 tons per year, involving 3,636 farm households and with a potential estimated tax of $90.2 million (USD) per year, the industry claimed to boost the local economy. However, among those cages, only 3,000 FNCs were officially registered and the registrations expired last year, while the rest were illegal, threatening the water supply and Java-Bali’s power supply.
Although many fish farmers complained about the action, they do not have any right to reject or sue the local government because they established the cages illegally and were instructed to remove them a couple years ago. The farmers now need alternative jobs to make a living. The local government has proposed that the reservoir could be an attractive tourist water spot, involving most of the former cage fish farmers to manage the spot without disrupting the reservoir’s sustainability.
USSEC’s aquaculture program has considered the Jatiluhur and other Indonesian reservoirs for sustainable, environmental-friendly aquaculture, farming the land and sustaining the sea and other water bodies.