Lapang Islanders in Indonesia

"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

(Live Kryon Channelings was given 7 times within the United Nations building.)

Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Japan's Antarctic whaling hunt ruled 'not scientific'

Japan's Antarctic whaling hunt ruled 'not scientific'
Representatives of Japan and Australia shake hands at the court in The Hague. (NOS/ANP) - 31 March 2014
"Fast-Tracking" - Feb 8, 2014 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Reference to Fukushima / H-bomb nuclear pollution and a warning about nuclear > 20 Min)

China calls for peaceful settlement of maritime disputes

China calls for peaceful settlement of maritime disputes
Wang Min, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, speaks during a meeting to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the enforcement of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, at the UN headquarters in New York, on June 9, 2014. The Chinese envoy on Monday called for a harmonious maritime order, saying that maritime disputes should be settled through negotiation between the parties directly involved. (Xinhua/Niu Xiaolei)

UNCLOS 200 nautical miles vs China claimed territorial waters

UNCLOS 200 nautical miles vs China claimed territorial waters

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

E. Nusa Tenggara to name 719 islands

Yemris Fointuna and Hyginus Hardoyo, The Jakarta Post, Kupang, Jakarta

The East Nusa Tenggara provincial administration says 719 currently anonymous islands within its territory will soon be getting names of their own.

The administration is working together with the National Survey and Planning Coordination Agency, the Maritime and Fisheries Ministry and the Indonesian Military (TNI) Hydro Oceanography Office to assign them.

"They will be named according to the characteristics of the area where they are located," Djidon de Haan, an assistant to the East Nusa Tenggara spatial planning agency, told reporters Tuesday.

Djidon said the province consisted of 1,192 islands, including the outer islands of Batek, Dana Sabu, Ndana Rote and Manggudu. Military troops have been deployed on them since 2006 to prevent outside parties from claiming them.

There are 473 recognized islands spread across the province's 16 regencies and mayoralties, of which just 43 are inhabited.

The administration earlier claimed to own 566 large and small islands. But satellite images showed the actual number to be more than twice as large. The province is required to name them by July.

"The list of islands will be sent to Jakarta before being registered with the 9th congress of the United Nations Conference on Standardization of Geographical Names at the UN building this year," he added.

The move is an apparent response to Home Affairs Minister M. Ma'ruf's recent call to regional administrations, especially those on border areas with other countries, to give their islands names.

Ma'ruf said the intention was to avoid disputes similar to the cases of Ligitan and Simpadan, which have been taken over by Malaysia.

"We have about 17,000 islands, but only 6,000 of them have been named," Ma'ruf said during a visit to East Nusa Tenggara early last week.

"Our next orientation will be developing and expanding the potential of the outer islands."

Ma'ruf added that out of 92 outer islands throughout Indonesia, only 12 had been named. He said the naming of all those islands would be completed by August. "We've been asked by the UN to report the islands, especially those which are located on border areas with other countries, as soon as possible," he said.

Members of the House of Representatives have also expressed concern over the rising number of foreign citizens taking over the ownership of the country's islands simply because they are not clearly identified.

Lack of clarity and poor security in the border areas also tempts many foreign fishermen to enter Indonesian waters. Indonesian security officers have a difficult time catching them because the fishermen have superior vessels.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

W. Java to export 275 tons of nila fish to Europe

Bandung, West Java (ANTARA News) - West Java province will ship a maiden export of nila and patin fish to Europe and the Middle East early this year, Head of West Java`s Fishery Services Darsono said here.

"The exports of nila and patin fish to Europe and the Middle East will be carried out without a broker. West Java has the potential for the exports of these fish species," he said.

He said that 150 tons of the exports of nila fish would go to Belgium, 75 tons to the Netherlands and 50 tons to Germany.

Each of the nila exported to Europe weighs some 300 grams to meet the need for this fish in the European market, he said.

Besides, West Java would also export 300 tons of patin fish to the Middle East.

Darsono said the direct exports of fresh fish from West Java was a breakthrough because fish exports of this province were often carried out by exporters from other provinces such Jakarta.

The nila and patin fishes are being produced by fish breeders in West Java`s districts of Subang, Indramayu, Bogor and other regions, Darsono said.

"The fish exports to the Middle East are bigger because the Middle East does not demand complicated conditions. Exports to Europe have to meet different kinds of demanding conditions. But West Java has made a breakthrough by penetrating the European market," Darsono added.

Major reshuffle for Transportation Ministry

JAKARTA: The Transportation Ministry will soon have a major reshuffle involving the ministry's directors general and secretary general, reports say.

A source who asked to remain anonymous told Antara news agency Monday that the ministry would soon inaugurate new secretary general and directors general of sea, air and land transportation, following a series of national transportation accidents.

"Tjuk Sukardiman will be the new secretary general, replacing current secretary general Wendy Aritenang," the source said, referring to the former director general of sea transportation.

Iskandar Abubakar, Hastjarja Harijogi and Moh. Iksan Tatang are the current directors general of land, sea and air transportation, respectively. -- JP

Monday, February 26, 2007

Indonesian, S Korean firms form new company

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Publicly-listed shipping company PT Arpeni Pratama Ocean Line (APOL) and South Korean Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. Ltd (HMM) have formed a joint venture dealing with sea transportation, a spokesperson said.

An agreement on the cooperation, which was signed by the two firms last February 22, stipulated that both APOL and HMM controls each of 50 percent of the new company, APOL director and secretary Ronald Nangoi told the Jakarta Stock Exchange (BEJ) here Monday.

PT Arpeni Pratama Ocean Line also told the Jakarta Stock Exchange that the former would buy two tankers at a total cost of US$100 million and receive the order in 2008.

Operation of the two tankers will be put under APOL management, the company said.

The plan to buy the two tankers is in line with APOL shareholders? extraordinary meeting, which was held on July 28, 2006, it said.

Data of the Jakarta Stock Exchange showed that as of December 31, 2006, APOL was 30.67 percent controlled by PT Mandira Sanni Pratama, 21.04 percent by PT Mandira Sanni Pratama S/A PT Ayrus, 8.67 percent by Deg-Deutsche Investitions-UE, and 8.34 percent by Mello S/A Cundill Recovery FD.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Charred passenger ferry sinks near Jakarta port, 1 reporter dies

JAKARTA (Agencies): A charred Indonesian passenger ferry sank as it was being towed back to a port near the capital Sunday with one reporter onboard becoming the dead victim.

Metro TV station reported that Lativi cameraman Suherman was saved by the rescue teams but finally he was dead after being reportedly missing when the ill-fated ferry suddenly sank.

More than a dozen investigators and reporters onboard, El-Shinta radio reported. At least three people were said to be missing.

The Levina I was being towed back to port after catching fire Thursday morning, sending hundreds of passengers jumping into the Java Sea.

"There were about 16 people inside, and we all rushed for our own safety as the ship suddenly tilted and submerged," said Mardianto, a reporter with el-Shinta who goes by one name.

Fishing boat with 13 on board capsizes in Balikpapan

SAMARINDA (Antara) : A fishing boat with 13 fishermen on board capsized in high seas in Tanjung Aru waters in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan on Monday, Samarinda port security police spokesman Inspector Rahardjo Siswanto said on Wednesday.

He said 12 fishermen of the ill-fated boat remained missing while one of them, identified as Amiruddin, was rescued by MV Noni on Tuesday afternoon after being tossed about at sea for two days.

According to Rahardjo, Amiruddin, the survivor, arrived at Samarinda port early Wednesday morning after being evacuated to Muara Jawa in Kutai Kartanegara.

Amiruddin is now under medical treatment at Dirgahayu hospital here.

"Amiruddin was found alive by MV Noni in Manggar waters in Balikpapan at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday," Rahardjo Siswanto said, adding that a team of rescue workers from Balikpapan had been sent to search for the missing fishermen.

Navy seizes 13 sand ships heading to Singapore

The Jakarta Post

BATAM, Riau Islands (Antara): West Navy Fleet Commander Col. Denny Noviandy said Saturday the Indonesian Navy has seized 13 ships when they were heading to Singapore to smuggle sands.

The government issued a regulation to ban exports of sand and top soil since Feb. 6 to prevent excessive sand shippings of the construction materials to Singapore.

Denny said the 13 ships carried some 39 tons of sand. They were arrested on Feb. 6 and 22.

"We will continue to carry out patrols because continuous exploitation and exports of sand will cause great losses for Indonesia," Denny was quoted as saying.

Denny said that patrols to monitor the move of cargo ships were not only involved ships from the sea, but also helicopters to carry out monitoring activities from the air.

"We need to carry out air patrols to know that ships carrying sands are moving to Singapore or not," he added.

Trade Minister Mari Elka Mangestu recently issued regulation No. 02/M-DAG/PER/I/2007 on sand export, which hampered construction business in Singapore. But there are still many ships, which still illegally smuggled sand to Singapore.

Police name captains as suspects of ferry accident

JAKARTA (JP) : Police have named Andi Kurniawan and Mualim I. Sumaryo, the captain and co-captain of an ill-fated ferry as suspects after intensive interrogation for two days.

Police have arrested them since Friday for questioning, one day the accident in waters of Thousands Island regency, killing at least 18 of it's passengers.

The number of passengers was still confused as three different institutions issued different figures -- 400, according to the Indonesian Red Cross, 316, according to Tanjung Priok seaportauthority, and 307, according to ship management.

Transportation Minister Hatta Radjasa said that the government has revoked permit of Levina ship because passengers on board are different from those registered by the ship management.

In the vast nation of 17,000 islands, ferries are the cheapest and most popular form of public transportation. But safety standards are poor, leading to hundreds of deaths each year. Indonesia has been hit by a string of transportation disasters in recent months.

In late December, another passenger ferry sank in a storm in the Java Sea, killing more than 400 people.

Police arrested captain of ill-fated ferry

JAKARTA (JP): Police have arrested Andi Kurniawan, the captain of the ill-fated ferry, which was burned in the waters of Thousand Islands regency, Jakarta, killing at least 16 people Thursday.

Police had not named him as a suspect of the accident. Andi's arrest was only to help the smooth process of investigation, MetroTV television reported Friday evening.

The number of passengers was still confused as three different institutions issued different figures -- 400, according to the Indonesian Red Cross, 316 according to Tanjung Priok seaportauthority, and 307 according to ship management.

Transportation Minister Hatta Radjasa said search and rescue teams managed to evacuate 316 people alive.

Meanwhile, Indonesian naval ships scoured the Java Sea for survivors on Friday as more than a dozen people were believed still missing from the second major maritime disaster in two months.

Five ships and two helicopters were searching the seas where the Levina I caught fire Thursday soon after leaving Jakarta on a trip to a northwestern island, he said.

MetroTV reported that the police were now investigating the source of the fire, which according to eyewitness, came from a truck on the cargo deck of the ill-fated ship.

Survivors recounted their experiences on board the blazing ship. A cargo hand said a woman handed him her 18-month-old baby and then jumped overboard.

"I tried to scale a rope, but was knocked into the water by a falling passenger, still clutching the baby," said Heru, 29. "I swam to a water cooler and then spotted the mother clinging to another cooler nearby.

"The baby was crying 'Mama! Mama!' and she insisted I hand over the child," he was quoted by AP news agency as saying, adding that 15 minutes later, large waves pulled them both under. "Now they're gone."

In the vast nation of 17,000 islands, ferries are the cheapest and most popular form of public transportation. But safety standards are poor, leading to hundreds of deaths each year.Indonesia has been hit by a string of transportation disasters in recent months.

In late December, another passenger ferry sank in a storm in the Java Sea, killing more than 400 people.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

698 Navy families victims of mudflow

The Jakarta Post

JAKARTA: The Indonesian Navy's Eastern Fleet revealed Friday that the families of 698 Navy troops have fallen victim to the mudflow in Sidoarjo, East Java.

"They lived at the now mud-swamped villages of Siring, Jatirejo, Renokenongo and Kedungbendo and the Perum Tanggulangin Anggun Sejahtera (TAS) I housing complex," the chief of staff of the Navy's Eastern Fleet, Commodore Syahrin Abdurrahman said, as quoted by Antara.

Of these 698 families, 340 soldiers who lived at the TAS I housing complex are yet to receive compensation from Lapindo Brantas Inc., which have been blamed for the massive mudflow in the Porong area of Sidoarjo.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Many missing as Jakarta plans to tow charred ferry

By Telly Nathalia

JAKARTA, Feb 23 (Reuters) - The Indonesian navy plans to tow a fire-gutted ferry from the Java Sea towards port or a nearby island on Friday, officials said, amid confusion over how many passengers were on board and may still be missing.

The official count from the sea accident remains 16 dead and 17 missing based on the manifest for the ferry, the Levina I, which says 307 people were on board. However, officials fear there were many stowaways on the ill-fated ship.

"It is common for people who have no ticket to force their way on board using whatever way they find," said Lieutenant Colonel Hendra Pakan, spokesman of the Indonesian navy's western fleet that has deployed ships to rescue the passengers.

"There is a plan to tow the boat today and (it) will be escorted by a navy ship," he said.

Tanjung Priok port administrator Sato Bisri said the towed ferry might not end up in Jakarta but on an islet in the Thousand Islands archipelago off the Indonesian capital.

"We want to clear it up and pull it to the port but if that is impossible, we would beach it on the closest islet," he said.

The Levina I was on its way to Bangka island off Sumatra when it caught fire soon after dawn on Thursday 80 km (50 miles) from Jakarta's Tanjung Priok port.

Officials said preliminary findings lead to the possibility the fire started from a truck with inflammable chemical cargo and spread throughout the ferry.


Many of the passengers hurled themselves off the blazing vessel into the sea to escape the flames and searing heat.

Heri Asmedi, an Indonesian Red Cross official, told Reuters most of the dead had wet clothes and no burns.

He added that up until Friday morning, relatives were still looking for information on a total of 123 people. Some of them may have been saved without their rescue having been recorded and a number of them may not have been listed on the manifest.

At the Red Cross post, photographs of the dead who had not been claimed by relatives covered a wooden billboard, while relatives of the missing poured over a posted list of the passenger manifest over and over again.

Sri Handayani had not heard anything about her husband who travelled with three colleagues from his expedition company to Bangka island on the ferry.

"The three others have returned but I do not know where my husband is. I tried to call his cellphone but it was dead. His name is not on the manifest and his picture is not on the victim board," said the 21-year-old woman who got married last year and is now pregnant.

Transport Minister Hatta Rajasa said it was too early to be clear on the cause of the blaze on the 27-year-old Japanese built ferry.

Ferries are a popular means of transport among the 17,000 islands of Indonesia, where sea connections are cheaper and more available than air routes. But safety standards are not always strictly enforced and accidents occur fairly often.

Overcrowding and bribing crew to get on board for less than the cost of a ticket are common on public sea and ground transport in Indonesia, a vast country of 220 million people and poor infrastructure. (Additional reporting by Mita Valina Liem)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Indonesian Passenger Ferry Fire Kills 15

from The Associated Press

JAKARTA, Indonesia February 22, 2007, 5:39 a.m. ET · A fire broke out on an Indonesian ferry carrying 300 passengers Thursday, killing at least 15 people and sending scores of passengers jumping into the sea, officials said.

Scores of survivors were plucked from the water and the ship's charred hull, but more than a dozen remained unaccounted for following the country's second major maritime disaster in as many months.

The fire started in a truck on the Levina 1's car deck, hours after the 2,000-ton vessel left the capital, Jakarta, for the northwestern island of Bangka, said port official Sato Bisri.

Aerial footage showed a raging fire and heavy black smoke pouring from the 27-year-old ferry. The cause was not immediately known.

"It was terrifying," said Yas Rijal, 33, who was with his wife and son on the upper deck when the fire broke out. "Suddenly flames bust from the lower deck. The crew ordered us to put on yellow life vests and we jumped."

Two warships, three helicopters, a tug boat and nine cargo ships were taking part in the rescue operations, scouring surrounding waters for more survivors, said Hambar Wiyadi, another port official.

Transportation Minister Hatta Rajasa told el-Shinta radio 15 bodies were recovered and that at least 275 people were rescued.

Rajasa said the ferry was carrying 300 passengers, but the ship's log indicated 228 passengers, 42 trucks and eight cars were on board. Tallies are often incomplete and boats overloaded.

In the vast nation of 17,000 islands, ferries are the cheapest and most popular form of public transportation. But safety standards are poor, leading to hundreds of deaths each year.

Indonesia has been hit by a string of transportation disasters in recent months.

In late December, a passenger ferry sank in a storm in the Java Sea, killing more than 400 people. Days later, a Boeing 737-400 passenger plane crashed into the ocean, killing all 102 people on board.

Thursday's accident occurred 50 miles north of Jakarta's port.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Indonesia's Humpuss eyes 6 new vessels

Business Times, February 20 2007

JAKARTA: Indonesian shipping company PT Humpuss Intermoda Transportasi Tbk is allocating US$100 million (US$1 = RM3.49) to buy six new vessels this year, the company's chief said yesterday.

Teguh Arya Putra, Humpuss' president director, said the company plans to acquire four chemical tankers, one floating storage ship and a coal carrier this year, to meet its target of 17.6 per cent growth in net profit.

"To meet that target, we are allocating US$100 million this year, which would be used to purchase six ships. We have been talking with some creditors and it is almost final," Putra told reporters.

The company reported a 15.65 per cent increase in net profit to 170 billion rupiah (100 rupiah = RM0.04) last year and is aiming to book a 200 billion rupiah net profit this year.

Humpuss, which has a market capitalisation of US$271.5 million, is engaged in sea transportation and related activities, which involve transporting methanol, liquefied natural gas (LNG), crude oil, fuel and other sea cargo.

It has 14 vessels in its fleet, including LNG carriers and chemical tankers. - Reuters

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Indian fishermen visit Aceh

Banda Aceh, NAD (ANTARA News) - Indian fishermen grouped in the Federation of South Indian Fishermen Organization (SEFFC) are visiting Aceh to see the condition of fishermen in the province after tsunami disaster in December 2004.

The Indian fishermen led by Vivekananda, the SEFFC`s secretary general, observed activities at a fish center in Lampulo, Banda Aceh, on Saturday.

Accompanied by the secretary general of the local fishermen`s organization, Adli Abdullah, they saw how fishermen dropped their catch, traders collected them and later retailers sold them at local markets.

Vivekananda said they came to Aceh to see the activities of local fishermen after tsunami.

He said all facilities and means of fishermen in his country had been damaged because of the tsunami. "We want to see the development efforts that have been carried out by non-governmental organizations for Aceh fishermen. We saw they were good and fishermen in Aceh have already been spiritful again," he said.

The fish center in Lampulo was destroyed by the tsunami. It is now one of the fish centers in Banda Aceh that has resumed activity after a foreign NGO helped rebuild it.

Adli Abdullah hoped the relations between Aceh and Indian fishermen would increase following the visit of SEFFC fishermen.

"We hope the SEFFC could help release Aceh fishermen now held in Nikobar," he said.

Dozens of Aceh fishermen are reported to be still held in Nikobar for trespassing into that country`s waters while fishing in open sea.

About the case, Vivekananda said, he was not aware of it. "We do not have information about it. We just knew that some Aceh fishermen had been stranded on the Nicobar island after visiting Aceh. The Nicobar is a group of islands while we are on land so we do not know about it," he said.

Aceh fishermen demand compensation from Pertamina

Banda Aceh (ANTARA News) - Fishermen in Bireuen and Pidie Districts, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD) Province, will demand billions of rupiah in compensation from state oil and gas company Pertamina for their losses caused by the company`s oil prospecting operations.

Secretary of the Aceh `Panglima Laot` (traditional fisherman institution) M Adli Abdullah said here on Friday that the Bireuen and Pidie fishermen have appointed Zaini Djalil as their lawyer in dealing with Pertamina.

Over the past two months, Pertamina has been carrying out oil exploration prospecting operations off the Aceh eastern coast. Consequently scores of fish traps of the local fishermen were damaged beyond repair by the state oil company`s boats used in the oil prospecting operations.

"We regret that the Pertamina managers in Lhokseumawe failed to establish coordination with us in Pidie and Bireuen," Abdullah said.

"One such fish trap is worth Rp150 million. So, if 30 traps had been destroyed, the fishermen has suffered a loss of several billions of rupiah," he said.

Last year, Pertamina`s boats destroyed a number of fish traps in Lhokseumawe and North Aceh.

Following protests from the local fishermen, Pertamina in Lhokseumawe eventually paid compensation money to the fishermen whose fish traps had been destroyed.

Regarding the current case, Abdullah said that the had contacted Pertamina in Lhokseumawe, but there was no response.

"As there is no response, the fishermen with the assistance of the `Panglima Laot` have started suing the oil company," he said.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Dutch ship pay rise for Indonesian sailors

Ridwan Max Sijabat, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Indonesian sailors will have the chance to work on Dutch vessels at higher rates of pay following the signing Tuesday of a collective labor agreement.

The Indonesian Seafarers Association (KPI) signed the agreement with the Netherlands Maritime Employers Association (Nemea) for both crew and officers, providing them with a gross monthly salary ranging from US$1,520 to $4,586.

The agreement also allows Indonesian sailors to move or be transferred to vessels flying the flags of other European countries with similar remuneration systems.

Nemea Chairman Aaert Korteland R.A. hailed the agreement for ensuring labor safety for Indonesian seafarers working for European shipping companies as well as for supporting the booming Dutch shipping industry.

"The Dutch shipping industry requires thousands of crew and officers to fill in job vacancies in its current fleet of 4,700 ships, ferries and cargo carriers," he said.

"More seafarers from Indonesia will be required because we are still ordering 4,000 more new vessels to replace old ones."

Korteland was speaking during the agreement signing ceremony at the state-run Indonesian Merchant Marine Academy (STIP) in Marunda, North Jakarta.

He also called on state-owned merchant marine academies to improve the quality of their teaching to allow their graduates to compete with seafarers from the Philippines, Thailand and South Korea.

Meanwhile, STIP rector Rusman Hoesein said Nemea should allow his students to work as apprentices on Dutch vessels while they were finishing their studies.

Some 18,000 Indonesian seafarers work on non-European ships for monthly salaries of between $2,000 and $3,000 because the payment is not based on the international standards.

Senior offices and captains of Indonesian ships earn far less, between $500 and $1,500 per month, the lowest salary in the industry in Southeast Asia.

KPI chairman Hanafi Rustandi said the organization encouraged Indonesian crew, fresh graduates of Indonesian merchant marine academies and senior officers to work on European and American ships.

"We have enhanced cooperation with the academies to hold certified training programs to improve the quality of Indonesian seafarers, enabling them to make a smooth adjustment to the work environment on European and American vessels," he said.

"There are about 15,000 Indonesian seafarers working for American and European shipping companies. But only 100 are employed as captains, chief engineers and other top positions because of the low quality of education in the academies."

The International Maritime Organization recognizes the graduates of five state-run academies in Jakarta, East Java, Central Java and South Sulawesi. Indonesian crew are required to take advanced programs to improve their specialized skills.

Luxury cruise ship moors to Benoa Port in Bali

Denpasar (ANTARA News) - A 205-meter long luxury cruise ship Albatross moored to Benoa port in Indonesian island resort of Bali for the first time on Tuesday, local port official HB Harahap said overnight.

"Sailing under German flag with 596 tourists and 518 crews on board, Albatross is a huge, luxury cruise ship to moors to Benoa port for the first time," Harahap said, adding that the tourists were from Europe, Asia and the United States.

He said that during the stop-over in Benoa, the tourists enjoyed cultural attractions and visited several tourist resorts such as Besakih, Kintamani and Celuk Gianyar.

Harahap added that the presence of such a luxury cruise ship in Bali had a positive impact on tourism in Bali.

Security at Benoa port was tightened during Albatross presence. The passengers` waiting room at the port was sterilized and surrounded with iron bars to prevent ordinary people from entering in.

According to him, Albatross berthed at Benoa at about 10 a.m. on Tuesday and moored off the island resort at 9 p.m to continue her voyage to Timor Leste capital of Dili.

From Dili, the luxury cruise will then sail by Kisar Island in Southeast West Maluku to the Australian Northern Territorial city of Darwin.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Disaster-fatigue and the importance of a Plan B

Manggi Habir, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Within a relatively brief period, we have witnessed a series of tragic disasters, both natural and man-made. This has ranged from the Aceh tsunami to the Adam Air plane crash and more recently to the Jakarta floods. This begs the question as to what we have learned from these painful experiences?

Unfortunately, we must admit not much. With limited resources and awareness, we have often ignored disaster prevention measures in our everyday routines. One notable trend, however, is that with a weak first line of defense, there is a growing importance of contingency disaster plans, or what companies often refer to as plan B (as opposed to the normal operating plan A). And with bird flu just around the corner, our plan B abilities will be truly put to test.

Preventive measures are, in the long run, more cost effective than remedial measures that kick in during and after a disaster. This is intuitive and common sense. On an individual level, better to buy and wear a motorcycle helmet than pay a brain surgeon to reassemble your head. For an airline, better to spend on safety measures than damage your reputation and forego potential revenue from customers switching to safer airlines.

For an oil company, it is better to ensure that safety standards are adhered to (especially when drilling in close proximity to heavily populated areas and public transportation facilities), than to have to pay for damages and compensation. For a provincial government, it better spending on early warning systems and going through practice runs, rather than having to relive another Aceh tsunami or Yogyakarta earthquake tragedy.

And for a municipal governor, better to spend on improving urban canals and drainage systems rather than losing political capital because of floods, should one have further political ambitions.

But, unfortunately, preventive measures are not without cost, while it is always hoped disasters will happen to somebody else, and thus are not a certainty. And with the lack of awareness of the need for preventive measures, even periodic building evacuation exercises remain a rarity.

Companies with the resources normally incorporate preventive measures in their business plans. They do this by identifying critical risk areas in their businesses, and correspondingly install ways to address and minimize these risks. In the absence of insurance, losses are quantified, should mishaps occur, and funds are set aside to cover these potential losses.

Minimum industry safety standards are set and adhered to with proper government or industry enforcement carrying sufficient penalties for non-compliance. Not easy in a developing environment, and to be fair even developed ones find this difficult.

It is like having to exercise, eat a balanced diet and have regular medical check-ups to avoid paying huge hospital bills later on. We know it is good for us, but never have the urgency or time, until unfortunately it is too late. Human nature is such that we tend to ignore the negatives and instead focus on the positives. It must be our survival instinct.

Indeed, it is our weakness in implementing and enforcing preventive measures in our daily routine that leads to the prominence of plan Bs. This is inevitable in an increasingly riskier world, with increased volatility brought about by, among other things, globalization, more frequent and extreme climatic changes and technological innovations. So what constitutes a credible plan B?

This column is not meant to be a treatise on how to do a plan B. Suffice to say that a plan B should have adequate funding, a realistic action plan, an organization with a credible chain of command to the very top (to get visibility, a buy-in from everyone and decisive decision making) and a focal point of communication to ensure accurate and consistent information is made public.

But a plan means nothing if it is not practiced. So it is vital that we do periodic practice runs. Plan B's ideally should remain a work in progress and, after each practice run, constantly fine-tuned to ensure credibility and effectiveness. Tsunami and earthquake practice runs are important exercises to go through. It is sort of like having an army in peacetime. We want them to be battle-ready and continually practice for a war, which we hope will never happen.

This brings me to bird flu, which has already claimed lives and could escalate further into a more deadly pandemic. Experts all agree it is just a matter of time before we have a pandemic. So, in this case, the early warning systems have already been switched on, flashing yellow warning lights. Unlike the recent tsunami and earthquakes, we have the luxury of a bit more time and thus both preventive and contingency plans need to be reviewed and put into action simultaneously.

Preventive measures include ensuring we are vigilant and report any dead birds to the authorities, and when the virus is identified ensuring we cull all fowl and animals (with proper compensation) that could transmit the disease within the surrounding area.

Identify key areas where the deadly virus can breed, like crowded wet markets where people and animals converge and try to ensure as clean an environment as possible. There has been heartening news of a bird flu vaccine being developed in Australia with some success. Although it remains to be seen how soon it can be safely used.

On the plan B remedial side, hospitals have been designated to cater for bird flu patients and isolation wards have been established. Aside from the hardware, it is important to coordinate the dissemination of information to ensure the public is made more aware about bird flu, the symptoms, the dangers and where to go for help should they identify it in their respective communities. Ways to deal with affected relatives and communities to ensure that the disease is isolated and contained is also important.

With all that has happened, it is no wonder we are suffering from a bit of disaster-fatigue. And it is now that our leaders, instead of pointing fingers at each other, should start showing real leadership. It is an opportune time, especially with the general elections only two years away.

The writer is a financial and business analyst and a lecturer at Tarumanegara University in West Jakarta.

Poland-made boats to strengthen RI Police fleet

JAKARTA (Antara): Five patrol boats made in Gdansk, Poland, will strengthen the Indonesian Police (Polri) fleet to reduce such crimes as poaching, smuggling, and illegal logging which had caused the country to suffer tens of trillions of rupiah annually, the Indonesian Embassy in Warsaw has said.

Gydnia Naval Shipyard (GNS) and Polri officials signed a document on the sending of the five boats from Gdansk to Indonesia, the embassy said in a statement made available to Antara Sunday.

Indonesian Ambassador to Poland Hazairin Pohan witnessed the signing, it said.

The Polish government has already finished a US$24.48 million-contract to build the five patrol boats and will send them either in February or March.

The five patrol boats are of the modern B-2 (NS-935) class which can each accommodate 25-30 personnel and carry complete weaponry system.

Each vessel is 36.4 meters long and 6.8 meters wide with a dead weight of 198 tons and a speed capacity of 26.5 knots.

The statement said the making of five boats was financed by a First Phase Export Credit scheme worth US$145 million agreed by the two countries.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Two marines missing off Laut island

JAKARTA (Antara): Two Indonesian marines were declared missing after they disappeared for six days with their traditional wooden fishery boat.

The two -- Serg. Adiamin and Cadet Hendrik -- were tasked to guard Laut island in Riau Islands province. They disappeared after they were sent by their superiors to buy logistics in nearby island with a small fishery boat on Feb. 4.

"Search and Rescue (SAR) team is using Nomad plane owned by Navy Force are combing the area to search (the two marines)," Commander of Tanjungpinang Navy Base Among Margono told Antara news agency Saturday.

Laut island is located near border line between Indonesia and Vietnam territory.

Indonesia, US hold naval exercise

Surabaya (ANTARA News) - US Navy Seal personnel are conducting a joint exercise with Indonesian Navy amphibious troops command (Kopaska) personnel of the Eastern Fleet Headquarters on February 8-23.

ANTARA reported here Thursday Eastern Fleet Command chief Rear Admiral Moekhlas Sidik opened the exercise which involves 194 personnel from the two countries, one warship, one helicopter and one Cassa plane.

Self-healing, weapon usage, long-range war technique, ship investigation and interception techniques, as well as river and swamp combat tactic are among methods the two countries will conduct during the exercise which will take place inside the headquarters, in Madura Straits, at Tanjung Perak port and Juanda airport.

Admiral Moekhlas said sea war strategy has always changed in keeping with technology equipment development.

The cooperation between Kopaska and US Navy Seal began in 1987 but broke due to US embargo on Indonesia. The cooperation began again in 2005.

Provinces 'better prepared' for disaster than Jakarta

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Several provinces are better prepared to deal with natural disasters than Jakarta, the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMG) said Friday.

"There are six provincial administrations that are the most concerned with weather changes as well as natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis," agency head Sri Woro B. Harijono said during a meeting with members of the Regional Representatives Council.

She said the provinces of West Sumatra, Lampung, Banten, Central Java, Maluku and Gorontalo were all well prepared for any disaster.

"For instance, Gorontalo provincial administration was the first to request the agency install a server to detect earthquakes and tsunamis," Sri told reporters.

The server is equipped with software that will automatically alert local citizens with sirens whenever an earthquake is detected.

The Gorontalo administration, she said, paid to have one installed in the middle of last year. West Sumatra then followed suit.

"Meanwhile, Central Java and Lampung have provided, respectively, a building for a climatology monitoring station and a plot of land for a weather radar tower," she said.

The Jakarta administration, however, is notable only for its lack of action, she said.

"The Jakarta administration has yet to take such action as the other six provinces," Sri said.

"May be the administration thinks that the city is not on the continental plate that might cause earthquakes and tsunamis," she added.

She said that her agency had sent a prediction for torrential rain to the administration on Feb. 1 at 00:20 a.m., a day before the floods hit Jakarta.

"Concerned institutions that receive data sent by the agency should take follow-up action," Sri said.

The Jakarta Public Works Agency's water resources development division said it had acted after receiving the forecast.

"We disseminated the information to related institutions. We also began operating flood posts for victims, shortly after we received the information," the head of the division, I Gede Nyoman Soewandi, told The Jakarta Post.

"We did not, however, predict that the heavy rain would cause this much damage," he added.

So far the flooding in Greater Jakarta has killed 54 people, forced at least 340,000 from their homes, and left more than 200,000 homeless.

Prih Harjadi, deputy for data systems and information at the BMG, said the dissemination of such information needed to be comprehensive and support public awareness and preparedness for natural disasters.

"Sophisticated technology to disseminate information swiftly will not be useful should the people be unaware and unprepared," said Prih.

"Local administrations should also take part in increasing public awareness and preparedness for natural disasters. The administrations should make a plan to help residents evacuate when a natural disaster occurs," he added.

Oil dumping in Malacca threatens environment

Fadli, The Jakarta Post, Batam

The head of a waste management group says the repeated dumping of oil in the waters near the Riau Islands is causing serious environmental damage.

Tankers in the Malacca Strait are believed to dispose of the oil when cleaning their tanks.

The chairman of the Association of Batam Toxic and Hazardous Waste Management Companies (Aspel B3), Kurniawan, told The Jakarta Post that waste from illegal tank cleaning activities in the waters between Indonesia and Singapore ended up polluting the province almost every year.

Foreign tankers usually dump the waste in Indonesian waters, he explained. It eventually winds up on Batam, Bintan and Karimun islands.

Evidence occasionally washes ashore, he added, such the specialized plastic bags filled with sludge oil that turned up in Batam last December.

"Many foreign tankers do their own cleaning to save costs. They just have to buy the containers and dump them in the sea," said Kurniawan.

The government has so far been unable to catch the perpetrators or prevent the problem from recurring.

Tank cleaning within Indonesia is supposed to follow strict standard procedures laid out in the 1997 law on environmental management.

According to the law, the process must be carried out by a certified company which has expertise in the field, and monitored directly by officers from the Ministry of Environment or the local Environmental Impact Control Agency (Bappedal). The cost is not trivial, sometimes going as high as Rp 50 million (US$5,500).

Based on the Aspel B3's data, three companies offer the service, but are mostly inactive due to limited work orders.

The latest case of waste dumping was reported in Bakau Serip village, Nongsa, Batam, at the end of December. Hundreds of sludge oil containers were found scattered on the beach and leaking into the sea, hurting the livelihoods of local fishermen.

The Batam Bappedal has collected hundreds of containers and will ship them to the toxic and hazardous waste disposal center in Cileungsi, Bogor, West Java, to be destroyed.

According to Kurniawan, there is an urgent need for the government to establish a monitoring agency on sea pollution, with the aid of a satellite to track down the responsible parties.

"The Malacca Strait only provides benefits to Malaysia and Singapore, while we are the ones being disadvantaged by the busy ship traffic. We must do something so as not be on the short end of the deal forever," said Kurniawan.

The head of the Batam Bappedal, Mawardi Badar, said the waste dumping had seriously affected fishermen in the province.

His office still does not know who the perpetrators are, he added.

"There's sure to be waste oil washing ashore in Batam every year. We have always spent money to deal with it. However, we have limited means to search for those responsible," said Mawardi.

Loan 2285-INO (SF): Sustainable Aquaculture Development for Food Security and Poverty Reduction (ADB)

Request for Expressions of Interest (EOI) - Invitation for Shortlisting for Consulting Services

Asian Development Bank

The Government of Indonesia invites reputable consultant firms from ADB's member countries, in association with qualified national consultant, to provide consulting services for Project Management Consultant (PMC) for Project Management Office (PMO) and Project Implementation Unit's (PIU) for the Sustainable Aquaculture Development for Food Security and Poverty Reduction Project (SAFVER), funded by Asian Development Bank under Loan No.2285-INO (SF).

SAFVER supports the government's program to promote sustainable and community-managed freshwater, brackishwater, and marine aquaculture development to benefit poor fish-farming communities. SAFVER will be implemented in five districts in four provinces:

1. Langkat in North Sumatera;
2. OKI in South Sumatera;
3. Karawang and Sumedang in West Java; and
4. Buton in South East Sulawesi.

Read more about the project

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Canadian investor supports sea cucumber farming in west Seram

Ambon (ANTARA News) - A Canadian investor has expressed support for the development of sea cucumber farming in 10 villages in Western Seram district, a local fishery service spokesman, Rahman Usemahu, said here on Thursday.

Usemahu said the Canadian investor supported the activity because exported sea cucumbers had good prospects in overseas markets.

"The sea cucumber cultivation activity is part of the realization of a cooperation agreement signed late last year by Western Seram district head Abdullah Vanath and the Canadian investor," Usemahu said.

He added the sea cucumber cultivation activity was expected to open more job opportunities and thus reduce the unemployment rate and to add to the local people`s prosperity.

The Canadian investor would also organize an English-language course for local officials or counterparts involved in the activity to facilitate more intensive social interaction for mutual benefit.

"The Western Seram district administration is doing its utmost to create a conducive local investment climate so that the region`s natural resources, especially marine biological resources, can be managed well for the improvement of the local people`s welfare," Usemahu said.

He said he district administration at present was actively promoting the local natural resources to foreign investors by developing economic support facilities.

"We are at present preparing the construction of a fishery port as a project of the Maluku Maritime and Fishery Service," Usemahu said.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Four Ships Containing Illegal Sand Captured

Wednesday, 07 February, 2007 | 13:23 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: The Indonesian Navy Western Zone Fleet (Armabar) captured four ships containing no less than 10,000 cubic meters of illegal sea sand in the Singapore Strait.

The capture took place at dawn yesterday (6/2).

“We gave them a warning, but they ignored it,” said Rear Admiral Muryono, Armabar Commander, yesterday.The capture, said Muryono, was based on the government's policy that prohibits land and sea sand exports under the Trade Minister Regulation No. 21/M-Dag/Per/I/2007, which was issued on January 22.

The examination and capture, Muryono said, was carried out by Indonesian Ship (KRI) Siliman 848 on the Winstar Victory tug boat traveling on the Moro-Singapore route in the Combol Strait.The boat carried 1,650 cubic meters of sand exported by PT Citra Karimun Aditya.

At the same time, KRI Anakonda 868 examined Dabo12 tug boat number 400/PPN Tongkang Sing Lian Huat, which was also in the Combol Strait.

This boat, which belongs to PT Bahtera Lestari Ships, was carrying 3,600 cubic meters of land sand and usually travels on the Kijang-Singapore route.

Two other boats were captured in the Durian Strait and the Riau Strait.

KRI Barakuda 814 captured the GM Growth Tongkang Asian Queen tug boat, which contained 850 cubic meters of land sand.

The Guric 3 tug boat carrying 4,000 cubic meters of land sand was captured by KRI Siada.

“The ships’ crew members are facing between four and six years imprisonment,” said Admiral Budhi Suyitno, Armabar Deputy Commander.In addition, the ships can be confiscated by the state.

dian y | oktamandjaya

Japan Brings Weather Research to Indonesia

Wednesday, 07 February, 2007 | 16:21 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: The Agency for the Assessment & Application of Technology (BPPT) and the Japan Marine Science & Technology Center (JAMSTEC) are cooperating in atmosphere dynamics research by installing various weather radars in the Indonesias region.

The research, which is called Hydrometeorological Array for Intraseasonal Variation Monsoon Automonitoring (HARIMAU), is aimed at improving weather forecast techniques so that rains that cause flooding, like what is happening currently, can be better anticipated.

In a workshop introducing HARIMAU yesterday (6/2), Professor Manabu Yamanaka from JAMSTEC said the radars that will be installed can monitor winds in a radius of up to 300 kilometers.

The radar that will be installed in Serpong, for example, will be able to monitor the realtime wind map in Jakarta, Bogor, Bekasi and Tangerang.

Yamanaka said that the six radars, comprising X and C-band Doppler Radars and also Wind Profiler Radars, in many locations in Indonesia cannot work independently.

“They must be combined with radars and weather stations belonging to BMG (the Meteorology & Geophysics Agency),” he said.

In addition to monitoring weather anomalies like what is currently happening in Jakarta, HARIMAU can also produce information that can also be used for other interests such as sowing periods, transportation and air pollution.

Batam authority to cooperate with BNI on port transactions

Fadli, The Jakarta Post - 2007-02-07 15:54:22

Batam, February 05, 2007 (The Jakarta Post) - The Batam Industrial and Development Authority has announced it will cooperate with Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) to provide banking services based on its electronic data capture (EDC) system.

Port service transactions, which will now be conducted online, in Batam amount to Rp 450 billion (US$48,13 million) each year with an average of 100,000 ships docking in Batam annually.

The merger was marked by the signing of a memorandum of understanding between BIDA and BNI at the Sumatra Promotion Center in Batam, Riau Islands, on Wednesday.BIDA chairman Mustofa Wijaya said the cooperation was part of the one-roof service program in Batam, declared a special economic zone by the government.

"We wish to facilitate investors' activities in Batam. As an initial step, we will use the E-payment system in order to avoid meetings between officers and businessmen, thus a step to create good governance," said Mustofa.

Mustofa said that BIDA would also pursue the possibility for other sectors to be served by the electronic banking service so as to facilitate foreign and local investors' business ventures in Batam.

"We will not only do this with BNI, but chances are also open for other banks. But, technically, the human resources at BNI are quite ready for the partnership," said Mustofa.<>

"The figure could increase each year, depending on how BIDA draws foreign and domestic investors to do business here. As for BNI, the partnership is very essential, because no other banking service providers have come forth so far. Despite that, we don't wish to monopolize this sector," said Gatot.

Gatot said that besides working with BIDA in handling the online port information management system in Batam, BNI will also collaborate in promoting Batam as an investment destination in Indonesia.

BNI will promote Batam through its five overseas branches in London, Tokyo, Singapore, Hongkong and New York, which can be used as information centers by BIDA to sell its special qualities to potential investors.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Govt lifts VAT from primary products

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

In order to boost the farm sector, the government has lifted value-added tax (VAT) on a variety of goods and commodities, including agricultural machinery and primary agricultural products.

Under a new government regulation, there are six categories of goods that will be exempted from VAT.

These include capital goods, such as engines, factory machines and machine tools, both in knocked-down or built-up form, and feeds and feed ingredients for livestock, fowl and farmed fish.

Also exempted from VAT are farm produce, seeds for agriculture and market gardening, fish and livestock seed, clean water distributed through pipes, and electricity, except for domestic use, where the power supply is higher than 6,600 watts.

The new regulation provides that agricultural produce, including that produced by enterprises operating in the agricultural, market-gardening and forestry sectors, will also be exempted form VAT.

Exports, imports from Tg. Priok down due to floods

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Exports and imports from the country's largest port, Tanjung Priok, have fallen by around 70 pct over the past four days after floods devastated Jakarta and nearby areas, Bisnis Indonesia reported, citing a port official.

Toto Dirgantoro said the fall in activity is due to floodwaters blocking road access to and from industrial areas of the port, which has resulted in a sharp reduction in container truck movements.

Severe flooding that has left at least 36 people dead or missing and forced nearly 340,000 to flee their homes continued to paralyse much of the Indonesian capital Monday for a fifth day, officials and local media reports said.

Waters that submerged more than 70 per cent of the capital on Sunday, the worst since a similar disaster in 2002, had been reportedly receding in some places, but in other areas, including in Bukit Duri suburb of East Jakarta, the flood were still up to rooftops until after mid-day on Monday, said an official at the city's flood centre agency.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Indonesia could lose 2.000 islands with rise in sea level

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia could lose 2,000 small islands by 2030 due to a rise in sea levels as a result of climate change, Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar said on Monday.

According to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the sea level could rise between eight and 29 centimetres (three and 12 inches) by 2030, inundating many of Indonesia's lower-lying islands, he was quoted by AFP as saying.

"Everybody in this world is experiencing directly the effects of climate change, whether it is floods, droughts or, heaven forbid, sea-level rise, those are phenomena that are impeding development," he told reporters.

The archipelago comprises more than 17,000 islands.

Witoelar said agriculture had been affected by changes in weather patterns, with rice not planted on schedule and Indonesia experiencing a significant increase in temperatures.

Indonesia is also expected to see higher rainfall in coming wet seasons.

Floods in the north of Sumatra island in December killed dozens of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee.

The Indonesian resort island of Bali will host the 13th UN Climate Change Conference in December, with between 7,000 and 10,000 participants from more than 100 countries expected to attend, the minister said.

Toxic planktons kill thousands of fishes in Bali: official

Denpasar (ANTARA News) - Toxic planktons are to blame for the mass death of thousands of fishes on some beaches of Tabanan district in Bali, an official said here Thursday.

"The fishes` mass death is a natural phenomenon caused by the El-Nino-induced storm which moved from the Pacific Ocean to the Indonesian waters. The El-Nino-induced storm triggered the growth of toxic planktons called red tide," head of the Bali Fisheries and Marine Resources Office Ida Bagus Putu Wisnawa Manuaba said.

The planktons had contaminated sea water adjacent to the areas stretching from Nyanyi to Selabih beaches where the dead fishes were found, he said.

Wisnawa said the sea water`s color turned to red and yellow due to the toxic red tide.

He said his office had warned the people living near the two beaches against eating the dead fishes and swimming in the waters where the dead fishes were found.

Meanwhile, experts from the Southeast Asia Center for Ocean Research and Monitoring (SEACORM) on Thursday conducted a research to look into the cause of the fishes` mass death on the beaches along 35 km of coastline.

They collected dead fishes of various kinds, sea water and planktons for laboratory tests.

The number of dead fishes which have already decayed continues to increase after the phenomenon was for the first time found on Monday.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

EU team inspecting RI's fish-processing plants

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

A team from the European Union, a major importer of Indonesian fisheries products, is currently inspecting fish-processing plants here, including factories in North Sulawesi, a major fish producing region.

"The inspections are being conducted to make sure that all the fisheries products exported to Europe are processed in accordance with EU requirements," Joy Korah, a senior official in the North Sulawesi fisheries office, told Antara on Thursday.

A group of EU officials has been inspecting fish-processing factories in South Sulawesi over the last two weeks.

Joy said that besides inspecting fish factories, the EU team also wanted to check whether the fishing techniques practiced by local fishermen were environmentally friendly.

The EU exercises strict quality control over fish and fisheries products exported to European countries, not only as regards health hazards, but also as part of its program to curb illegal fishing.

Johny Rumagit, the head of the export/import unit in the South Sulawesi provincial trade office said that such inspections were a normal part of import procedures in developed countries.

In 2006, fisheries products exported from South Sulawesi to the Netherlands were worth US$70.7 million, while exports to Germany totaled $10 million and Spain $4.64 million.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Both sides of Suramadu bridge set for SEZs

Ary Hermawan, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The government plans to set up special economic zones (SEZ) in the areas to be linked by the Surabaya-Madura bridge, with the zones expected to cover some 600 hectares in total.

The SEZs on both sides of the bridge will be established upon the completion of the bridge, which is scheduled for 2008, according to National Development Planning Minister Paskah Suzetta.

"The bridge must be turned into more than just a link between Surabaya and Madura. We must also improve economic conditions in the surrounding areas," Paskah said Wednesday.

Accordingly, Paskah said the government had decided to set up a special agency to speed up the bridge's construction, and to prepare blueprints for the development of the proposed economic zones.

"The agency will focus primarily on land acquisition and the construction of infrastructure, including ports and residential areas to support the zones," he said, adding that the new agency would be headed by Coordinating Minister for the Economy Boediono and include local government officials as members.

Subsequently, Paskah said, the government would invite private firms to submit bids to run the zones as part of a public-private partnership.

"All companies. foreign and domestic, will be invited to invest in and develop the zones," he said.

Better known by its Indonesian acronym as the Suramadu bridge, the new link, which is still under construction, will connect Surabaya on the island of Java and Bangkalan on the island of Madura. It will be the longest bridge in the country at 5.4 kilometers in length.

China has provided US$400 million for the project, while the government has allocated Rp 1.4 trillion (Rp 147.3 million) from the 2007 and 2008 budgets.

Batam, Bintan and Karimun islands in Riau Islands province made up the first SEZ in the country. It has been deemed a success by the government, which now plans to create similar zones in other provinces.

In addition to the proposed SEZs in East Java, the government has said it will establish other ones in North Sumatra, South Sulawesi and Bojonegara in Banten, where a Rp 7 trillion international port is under construction.

The Coordinating Ministry for the Economy is currently preparing a government regulation in lieu of law as a legal basis in the hope that this will save time and accelerate the establishment of more investment-boosting SEZs around the country.

Issues pertaining to the SEZs will also be covered by the proposed new taxation and customs laws.