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

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Russia to build corvettes for Indonesia

ST. PETERSBURG. June 29 (Interfax-AVN) - Rosoboronexport and the Indonesian navy have signed a contract on the construction of corvettes, a spokesman for the Russian company told Interfax-AVN on Friday.

"The agreement envisions further cooperation in designing and building corvettes modeled after the Russian ship Steregushii (Project 20382) for the Indonesian Navy," he said.

The document was signed by Rosoboronexport First Deputy General Director Vladimir Pakhomov and Indonesian Navy Commander Admiral Slamet Soebijanto.

Seventeen missing boat passengers found

Yemris Fointuna, The Jakarta Post, Kupang

Seventeen people, including two boys, feared dead after their boat capsized in rough seas in Salura Island waters in East Sumba regency on Tuesday were found alive Friday.

East Sumba Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Arief Yuliman Susetyono said the Terlanjur Sayang motorized boat was found floating at 8 a.m. in waters near Tarimbang village.

The boat went missing Tuesday after leaving Katundu harbor on its way to Salura Island and was later found by residents from nearby Waningki Island.

"They all have been evacuated to safety," Arief said.

"They had been floating for almost three days."

The 16 passengers and the boat's captain were taken to Katundu harbor. They arrived at 4 p.m. and were taken to Waingapu for medical attention.

An official in East Sumba, Marthen Kilimandu, said Friday the boat had 17 people on board, not 11 as earlier reported.

The passengers included two boys, four-year-old Mertho and six-year-old Sahidin.

Search and rescue operations had been conducted since Tuesday and had involved the navy, fishermen and officials.

The navy's operational assistant in Kupang base, Col. Iswan Sutiswan, said the warship KRI Katon had also been deployed to help the search operation.

"It happened that KRI Katon was patrolling the waters around Flores Island and could be deployed to the accident location to help the search," Iswan said.

Head of El Tari Meteorology and Geophysics Agency in Kupang, Alberth Kusbagio, said waves were still three to five meters high around East Nusa Tenggara waters.

"We've called offices with the authority to issue sailing permits to take into account the high waves before issuing such permits," he said.

All state-run river, lake and ferry transportation services, managed by PT ASDP in Kupang, had temporarily ceased to several islands, including Alor, Flores, Lembata, Rote and Sumba.

PT ASDP's operational manager, Daryoto, said Friday the company had decided to temporarily stop ships from sailing the routes due to unfriendly waters.

Fishery minister asks foreign companies to build industries in RI

Ambon, Maluku (ANTARA News) - Maritime and Fishery Affairs Minister Freddy Numberi said foreign companies wishing to invest in the maritime and fishery sectors in Indonesia should set up industries in the country which are operating in these sectors.

In a statement here on Friday the minister also banned foreign fishing boats from operating in Indonesian territorial waters unless they could show their commitment to build industries in the fisher sector in association which local fishermen.

This measure is aimed at providing the employment opportunites to the local populaton.

Some foreign companies have terminated their cooperation with Indonesia like the Philippines, Thailand and South Korea, he said, adding that China will follow suit on July 17 this year.

"It doesn`t mean that they have no opportunity to carry out fishing activities in Indonesian waters. They are welcome, but only under a cooperation with local fishing companies, and by setting up industries operating in the fishery sector," he said.

Minister Numberi said, foreign fishing companies which failed to abide by this Indonesian government decision, especially those whose cooperation with Indonesia had been terminated, will be sternly dealt in accordance with the law.

"For Maluku in particular, we should build a fishery business as the region has many potentials in the maritime and fishery sector," Numberi added.

Friday, June 29, 2007

11 feared dead in boat accident

Yemris Fointuna, The Jakarta Post, Kupang

Eleven people are feared dead after a motorized boat capsized in rough waters Tuesday on its way to Salura Island in Karera district, East Sumba regency, an official said Thursday.

A search involving fishermen and a search and rescue team was unsuccessful as they were confronted by high waves reaching five meters.

The Terlanjur Sayang boat, which left Katundu harbor, is thought to have capsized after being hit by strong waves.

An official in Sumba, Marthen Kilimandu, said the search could only be conducted by using simple available equipment.

"We're only able to use small fishing boats since it's hard to reach the site of the accident. The waves are very high and have created difficulties for those involved in the search since Wednesday," he said.

The boat was carrying 11 people and 40 bags of cement.

"We will continue the search but fear those missing are likely to have been swept away by strong currents."

Meanwhile, the El Tari Meteorology and Geophysics Agency station in Kupang has warned captains and fishermen of high waves.

"In the sea south of East Nusa Tenggara and in the Timor Sea, the waves can reach five meters high due to strong winds. These conditions are expected to persist over the next five days," office head Albert Kusbagio said.

He said wind speeds were fluctuating between 15-45 kilometers per hour.

The strong winds, he said, are occurring due to a change in air pressure between the province and the land mass of Australia.

According to satellite images, waves had reached five meters high in the Timor Sea, while in Kupang, Semau and Rote waters, they had reached four meters.

But in Sawu and Flores seas, the waves have only reached about one to 2.5 meters."

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Govt to provide Rp21 billion for fishermen in N Sulawesi

Manado, N Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - The government will this year disburse Rp21 billion to assist fishermen in North Sulawesi, of which Rp3 billion will be taken from the North Sulawesi regional budget.

"Rp15 billion of the money will be used to construct fishery ports in Minahasa, Likupang and Kema districts," Head of North Sulawesi Fishery and Maritime Agency, Xandramaya Lalu said here on Tuesday.

He said that direct assistance for fishermen would be provided through fishermen`s groups. The funds would be provided to empower the fishermen in the coastal areas of North

Sulawesi.Xandramaya said that 10 percent of the funds were now ready to be disbursed while the remaining 90 percent was expected to be allocated in the second semester of this year.

Diving and snorkeling sites in Komodo park

The Jakarta Post

While the Komodo dragon remains the ultimate draw of Komodo National Park, numerous diving and snorkeling sites in and around the park are equally fascinating. The following are some diving and snorkeling sites you cannot afford to miss when visiting the park.

Dive cruise exploring Komodo island

1. Batu Saloka: Is part of a cluster of unchartered rocky islets and reefs off the point of Tanjung Saloka. The westernmost islet is an excellent dive spot, although it is very prone to currents and swell. The terrain is very dramatic. Some of the types of marine life you are likely to encounter include the Napoleon wrasse, big groupers, snappers, turtles, sharks and giant trevalies. The best time to dive is during low tide.

2. Letuhoh Reef: Extending south from Tanjung Letuboh, the reef offers some of the best big-fish diving in Komodo park. Big potato cod, gray reef sharks, eagle rays, turtles, dogtooth tuna and snapper can be found on this reef. The best time to dive is during a falling tide.

3. The Alley: Marked with large giant trevally, sharks, beautiful coral and a high diversity of other invertebrate life, this tiny collection of rock islands in the south of Komodo bay is a great place for snorkeling and diving. The site tends to be current-prone, with temperatures dropping below 20 degrees Celsius at times.

4. Tanjung Loh Sera: There is superb diving all along the southern point of Loh Sera where you can see large pelagic fish such as dogtooth tuna circling off the point and around the pinnacles. Turtles, monster-sized giant trevallies, potato cod, malabar grouper, bumphead parrotfish, Napoleon wrasse, manta rays and much more can be seen along the reef wall. Due to potentially strong currents, however, only experienced divers should attempt to swim in the pinnacles while beginner divers should stay along the wall.

5. Yellow Wall: Is an excellent day or night dive spot just inside the south-eastern corner of Loh Dasa Bay at Rinca Island. Considered one of the best snorkeling sites in Loh Dasami, Yellow Wall is the place to see invertebrate diversity, especially during a night dive. Walls are packed with an array of marine life and colors including colorful sea urchins, bright red sea apples, beautiful soft corals and a great variety of tunicates. Nighttime fish life include sleeping coral trout, cat sharks, many kinds of cardinal fishes and parrotfishes in their mucus cocoons, as well as sleeping turtles.

6. Boulders: Located on Nusa Kode, the boulders are a good night dive location. A torch is useful at this site. The dive begins with a forest of soft coral at 30 to 35 meters deep. Along the way to the boulders is a good location for finding fire urchins and Coleman shrimp. The boulders themselves display good coral, invertebrate and fish life. Quite often manta rays are also seen in this area.

7. Payung Island: It is an interesting underwater landscape with huge rocks. Fish and invertebrate life is diverse and there are big schools of surgeons and smaller yellow snappers (Lutjanus kasmira and L. Quinquelineatus). Rocky reefs are covered with soft coral gorgonians and feather stars. The southern and western sides of Payung Island offer the most interesting reef capes. Visibility is between 9.5 and 10 meters.

8. Tiga Dara: Tiga Dara -- literally means three sisters -- offers a pristine reef with excellent coral coverage and rich fish life.

9. Batu Bolong: A tiny rocky outcropping in the strait between Tatawa Kecil and Komodo Island, Batu Bolong is one of the top diving locations in the park, offering undamaged reefs thanks to strong currents and steep drop-offs that make it difficult for local fishermen to use dynamite and cyanide-fishing techniques. Sharks, Napoleon wrasse, giant trevally, dogtooth tuna, and rainbow runners are found in the area.

10. Tatawa Kecil: This small rocky islet southwest of Tatawa Besar island is an egret nesting site and a fantastic snorkel and dive site when the current is not too fast. Rocks, caves and beautiful coral gardens race the reef on the western side of the islet. Many coral reef fishes including large groupers, snappers, sweetlips, trevally and sharks can be seen. An amazing number of anthias swim among colorful fields of branching corals. Dugongs have also been spotted here and manta rays are often seen on the southern side of the island.

11. Castle Rock: Is a colorful dive with soft coral coverage. Clouds of anthias and schools of yellow-ribbon sweetlips are usually encountered while frogfish, moray eels and scorpion fish are also commonly seen. It's an excellent dive usually worth doing twice. It's called crystal rock because of the clear water surrounding it. The top of the site is exposed at low tide.

12. Darat Passage North: The slope is very rich in marine life and the sandy bottom at 15 meters deep is covered in garden eels. On the approach to the channel, turtles and schools of giant sweetlips that live in a grotto may be seen near the surface of the water. Parrotfish aggregate here to spawn annually around April. Sharks and batfish also reside in the passage. An excellent dive and good snorkeling can be found on the northern side of the channel between Gililawa Darat and Komodo Island.

13: Darat Passage South: Turtles can be seen on this coral reef. At 20 to 30 meters deep to the south of the point, many small coral trout, large schools of anchovies and small tuna and trevallies come in to feed in the bay. There is good snorkeling here, although a lot of damage has been done by bomb-fishing and reef gleaning.

-- Kanis Dursin

Mangroves vanishing from Tangerang's coastal areas

Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang

Mangrove forests that once protected more than 50 kilometers of coastline in the northern part of Tangerang regency are rapidly disappearing, largely due to the economic activities of local residents.

Along coastal areas in the Mauk, Pakuhaji and Teluk Naga districts, the regency once had 10,000 hectares of mangrove forests according to data from the Tangerang Environmental Management Agency.

"Only 3,000 hectares of mangrove forests remain, and these are on state-owned PT Perhutani land," said Syatiri, the head of forest conservation at the agency.

Syatiri said many local residents do not understand the importance of preserving mangrove forests and convert them for other uses, including as fish and shrimp farms or sand quarries.

"Residents leave mangrove swamps in their converted state when they are no longer of any of use to them," Syatiri said.

"The destruction of mangrove forests is primarily caused by people, but a small percentage of damage is caused by natural factors such as flooding," he said.

He said the deterioration of these forests has resulted in worsening erosion along the coastline, as mangrove trees used to prevent erosion caused by rising tides and large waves.

Syatiri said the administration tried to renew its conservation effort last year by planting 9,000 mangrove trees along coastal areas in Mauk and Teluk Naga, with little success.

"Local residents cut down the trees because they didn't know they were planted to protect the coastline," he said.

The agency's head of land conservation, Ohan Johansyah, said while it is difficult to disseminate information about the importance of mangrove trees, residents need to get involved in conservation efforts for their own sake.

"The waves during seasonal transition periods are quite high. With no mangrove forests to act as buffer zones, up to 500 hectares of farming land may be hit by high tides," Ohan said.

Coastal communities in the northern part of the regency are also at increased risk in the event of a tsunami, he said.

The Tangerang regental administration said at least Rp 110 billion would be required to build water breakers along the most affected areas of coastline, but currently only Rp 6 billion is available for the project.

Environmentalist Sumantri said many mangrove forests in the northern part of the regency started to vanish long ago due to erosion.

"The reforestation drive must be carried out immediately because the regency is facing serious erosion problems. Only reforestation can help minimize the impact of erosion," he said

Portugal interested to build fishermen`s settlement in Pangkalpinang

Pangkalpinang (ANTARA News) - A Portuguese investor, Aunda, is interested to deal with a fishermen`s settlement project which will raise 400 houses for 400 families in Selindung, Pangkalpinang city, Bangka-Belitung province, a mayor has said.

"The expected fishermen`s settlement will be completed with fishery product processing facilities like an ice bloc factory and shops to make the area lively," Pangkalpinang Mayor H Zulkarnain Karim said here Monday.

The presentation on the fishermen`s settlement project has been made to a number of investors from different countries since 2006 but only Aunda (Aliga) from Portugal consistently expressed interest to invest in the project.

Aunda expressed agreement on the project in March 2007 to the Pangkalpinang city administration. On June 19, Aunda followed up on the agreement by observing the location where the fishermen`s settlement would be raised.

The project is expected to start this year.

At the initial stage, Aunda would only sink capital in the fishermen`s settlement project whose land would be provided by the city administration, and the Portuguese investor would likely extend the business by building a seaport in support of an integrated area project (Waterfront City) in Pasir Padi area.

Aunda had also successfully built such a project in Southeast Sulawesi province and thus Pangkalpinang would follow suit in an effort to improve local people`s welfare, Zulkarnain said.

Netherlands to build infrastructure in Balikpapan

Balikpapan (ANTARA News) - The Netherlands is interested in building infrastructure in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan province.

"The Netherlands Ambassador to Indonesia along witht five to 10 Dutch investors, are soon coming to the Balikpapan," mayor of the oil city Imdaad Hamid said here on Monday.

The infrastructure project will cover clearn water, a port, electricity and public transportation.

With regard to the infrastructure project, the Netherlands, Imdaad said, would serve as an information center for countries in Europe.

Imdaad said this would be the first time that the Netherlands is building infrastructure projects in East Kalimantan, as they had built on the oil and gas sector in the past.

The Indonesian-Netherlands Association (INA), which has set up the Indonesian-Benelux Chamber Of Commerce (IBCC), will be seeking the Dutch government`s technical support to the project.

The technical support will include licensing from the Balikpapan city administration.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Pulau Umang, a paradise next door

Leo Wahyudi S / The Jakarta Post Contributor

An outdoor banquet on the beach? It sounds wonderful. And it was the balmy night, the food, the sandy beach on a private island in Banten province, all of it.

Not only would young lovers find it romantic but so too would parents taking their family away for a weekend and enjoying dinner on a moonlit beach with the gentle sound of waves lapping the shore.

With fresh seafood as the main course served by amiable staff, every guest enjoyed the magical moment by the sea.

Most urbanites, particularly those residing in a big, crowded city like Jakarta, can only dream of having the sea right at their doorstep, but on Pulau Umang it is a reality. And everyone can enjoy this simple pleasure just by leaving behind the traffic jams of Jakarta and visiting this island on the western tip of Java island.

Pulau Umang, located in Banten's Pandeglang district, is a reasonably priced dream getaway for anyone looking for a relaxing beach experience with ambience. Situated near the UNESCO heritage site of Ujung Kulon nature reserve, Umang Island is a worthwhile destination for travelers.

Umang island resort and spa offers the same comforts as a star-rated hotel. The informal atmosphere enables guests to unwind and enjoy the laid-back pace of this relaxing island.

Pulau Umang is well protected from stormy seas, with the popular Tanjung Lesung beach to the north, Ujung Kulon to the south and Panaitan Island far west of the small island. Visitors have little to fear from large waves on their trip out to the island as it is just a five-minute speedboat ride from the shores of Sumur, Pandeglang, which takes approximately four hours to reach by car from Jakarta. The resort has free 24-hour secure parking at its parking lot in Sumur and accommodation for drivers.

Alighting from the speedboat, visitors walk along the pier to the main gate of the resort. A welcome drink awaits every guest. The natural beauty of the resort becomes apparent as soon as one heads for their cottage. Set amid five hectares of land, the resort has 60 cottages facing the sea, each with a view of either sunrise or sunset depending on individual choice. Each cottage has two large rooms with connecting door. The bedroom on the mezzanine has a distinct romantic feel to it, made all the more special by the fresh sea air and the lulling sound of breaking waves. The structures are all earthquake resistant.

Ten minutes from Umang island is the uninhabited Pulau Oar, which people visit to walk along the white sandy beach or go snorkeling, jet-skiing or for a ride on a banana boat in the crystal clear water. The islet also has many places to get a great shot of sunset or sunrise.

Over all, Pulau Umang is a paradise on earth where holiday-makers can laze around and enjoy its beauty and tranquility, far removed from the hassles of urban life.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Coral reef tourism protects its pot of gold

The destruction of nature's beautiful underwater kingdoms by coastal development, shore runoff and fishing techniques has seen the tourism industry increase conservation efforts

By Bonnie Tsui, NY TIMES News Service

Taipei Times, Friday, Jun 22, 2007

Green sea turtles, cascades of glittering reef fish, blooming coral pillars -- countless travelers have come nose to nose with a thriving undersea universe while on vacation.

But increasingly, divers and snorkelers are swimming over bleached hunks of coral devastated by shore runoff or overfishing. From the South Pacific to the Caribbean, coral reefs -- which are among the most delicate of marine ecosystems -- are bearing the brunt of climate change and other human-driven activities -- including coastal development, deforestation and unrestricted tourism.

Now, many in the tourist industry are trying to halt the damage and it is no wonder. The dollars involved in reef-based tourism are significant: Australia's Great Barrier Reef alone draws about 1.9 million visitors a year, supporting a US$4.2 billion industry. According to the Nature Conservancy, the annual economic value of coral reefs to world tourism is US$9.6 billion.

Growing awareness of environmental issues means that the tourism industry has lately been a partner to conservation efforts in major reef areas. Though the Great Barrier is the most famous reef, it is not the most threatened; its extensive marine management program is widely regarded as a model for conservation.

It includes eco-certification programs for tourism operators within the boundaries of the marine park, environmental tourist fees, large no-take zones, species monitoring and tourism industry contributions to the Great Barrier Reef's main research center.


But the world's second-largest barrier reef, the Mesoamerican Reef in the Caribbean, is seriously endangered by coastal development, runoff and pollution. The reef system stretches nearly 1,100km from the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico to the Bay Islands of Honduras.

Reefs in the Coral Triangle in Southeast Asia -- which reaches from Malaysia to the Philippines, Indonesia, and the Solomon Islands, encompassing some of the planet's most diverse marine habitats -- have also been severely damaged by overfishing and destructive practices, including the use of cyanide and dynamite to capture fish.

In 2004, the nonprofit group Conservation International began a program called the Mesoamerican Reef Tourism Initiative, which aims to address the threat that mass tourism poses to the Mesoamerican Reef by engaging hoteliers, developers, cruise lines and local governments in Mexico, Belize, and Honduras. There is special emphasis on the Riviera Maya of Mexico, where, less than 14km offshore, the island of Cozumel is the world's second most-visited cruise destination after Miami, according to the International Council of Cruise Lines.

Last year, as part of the Mesoamerican Reef initiative's efforts, the cruise line council began an effort to avoid wastewater discharge by cruise ships in environmentally sensitive areas.

"This program will ensure that cruise line wastewater is discharged at least 6.5km from any of the sensitive marine ecosystems within the Mesoamerican Reef system, thereby minimizing the chance such discharges will have negative impact on the long-term health of the reef," said Jamie Sweeting, who oversees the work of Conservation International with the industry.

The cruise industry is a particular area of concern, since ships regularly disgorge crowds of passengers into fragile coastal areas that strain to absorb the impact. Conservation International estimates that cruise passengers typically make about 2,000 scuba dives in and around Cozumel's surrounding reefs in a single day.

"We're working with the municipal government, the local dive and water sports association and the cruise lines themselves, because they all have a vested interest to look after this coral reef," Sweeting said.

Areas being addressed include the creation of a dedicated snorkeling zone in Cozumel to limit visitor impact to one section of the reef, and ensuring that park management fees are collected and put toward protection and management of marine areas. The Mesoamerican Reef Tourism Initiative has also begun a program to evaluate and implement good business practices for conserving water and energy, reducing solid waste and managing chemicals at coastal hotels along the Riviera Maya and in southern Belize.

Crucial partnerships between conservation groups and the tourism industry have also taken root in the Coral Triangle. In developing nations like Indonesia, where human and financial resources are slim, the cooperation of private tourism businesses has been instrumental in accomplishing reef conservation goals.


For example, Bunaken National Park, in north Sulawesi, is today managed in large part by a local association of dive operators who saw the declining quality of coral (and their livelihood) in the mid-1990s.

The Nature Conservancy's Coral Triangle Center works at several sites in Indonesia, including the Raja Ampat Islands in Papua and Komodo National Park, a major protected marine area in the Lesser Sunda Islands. Komodo is now run by a nonprofit joint venture between the Nature Conservancy and a local tourism company. The joint venture, PT Putri Naga Komodo, was established in 2005.

Founded in 1980, the park is a World Heritage Site and protects the habitat of the Komodo dragon, as well as important whale migration routes between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The reefs are rich in coral species and home to up to 1,000 species of fish.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Indonesia to ratify fisheries convention

The Jakarta Post

JAKARTA: Indonesia is to ratify a new International Labor Organization (ILO) convention on fisheries to provide protection for seafarers and fishermen and accelerate growth in the shipping and fisheries industries.

At a press conference Thursday, Manpower and Transmigration Minister Erman Suparno said that before ratifying the convention, the government would review all existing regulations to avoid any contradictions with the deal.

"All relevant ministries will meet to learn more about the ILO convention and to review existing regulations to make them in line with the convention," he said.

The convention -- the only one adopted during the International Labor Conference in Geneva held May 29 to June 15 -- regulates core labor standards, including minimum wages, working hours, training, workplace competence and medical examinations for seafarers and fishermen.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian Seafarers Association (KPI) has slammed the government for failing to control the fisheries industry or provide protection for local and foreign workers in the sector.

Indonesia to get 25 international sea ports

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The government will develop 25 international ports over the next few years in order to facilitate the country's growing foreign trade in regions outside Java, a senior official at the Ministry of Transportation says.

The ministry's director general for sea transportation, Harijogi, said Thursday that the 25 ports would be selected from among the existing 141 ports.

Speaking following a hearing with the House of Representatives' transportation commission, he said that the 25 ports would be developed in such a way that their operations would be focused on serving international routes.

He pointed out that while some of existing ports had already been serving international traffic, they needed to be modernized so as to expand throughput.

"Our research and development unit is investigating which of the 141 ports can be developed as full international ports," he said. He did not disclose the locations of the 25 ports, but said that most of them were located outside Java.

"The research and development unit is auditing the performance of each port and should have concluded its survey by the end of this year," he said.

According to Harijogi, besides the survey, the ministry was also drafting a master plan and investigating which international port security systems should be installed in the 25 ports.

The two tasks, he said, were respectively expected to be completed by August and October.

He refused to comment on how much investment and additional infrastructure would be needed in the future, saying that the master plan was not yet finished.

The ministry's plan to establish new international sea ports, Harijogi said, was key to facilitating the flow of exports and imports as mandated by Presidential Instruction No. 6 of 2007 on accelerated growth in the real, and micro, small and medium enterprises sectors.

Harijogi said the ministry would also discuss the plan with the relevant local administrations. "They should be excited to have their ports upgraded to international standard," he said.

Senior ministry officials, including Transportation Minister Jusman Syafei Djamal, were in the House to discuss the shipping law (amendment) bill with the members of the commission.

The government has proposed in the bill that the private sector be allowed to operate sea ports. The sector is at present the preserve of state-owned port management companies Pelindo I, Pelindo II, Pelindo III and Pelindo IV.

Harijogi said that the change was urgently needed so that the private sector, especially foreign investors, could participate in the modernization of the country's port services.

A number of companies, including foreign firms, have expressed interest in developing and operating ports here but are prevented from doing so by the legal obstacles, he said.

The government also proposes in the revised bill that foreign-flagged vessels be prohibited from carrying local freight within the country's territorial waters, thereby giving a statutory basis to a similar existing prohibition set out in a government regulation.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Govt OKs ferry prices, but caps further rises

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

In response to rising costs, the Transportation Ministry announced Wednesday that it would allow recent increases in the price of economy-class ferry tickets to stand, but would place a cap on how much higher they could go.

Under the Transportation Minister's Regulation No. KM 22/2007, which will enter into effect on July 12, the fare cap is set at about 30 percent higher than the present fare.

Transportation Minister Jusman Syafii Djamal told reporters in Jakarta that the price cap was needed as private ferry operators had already significantly increased their fares.

According to a survey by the ministry, the biggest increase in the price of an economy-class ferry ticket in the year to date amounted to 47.37 percent, while the lowest was 21.41 percent.

Under the previous arrangements, the government determined the fares for each ferry route. Under the new regulation, however, the government will allow the private sector to determine fares within the limits set by the price cap.

In March, Indonesian National Shipowners Association (INSA) had proposed an increase in the price of ferry tickets of up to 200 percent due to increased costs.

Jusman explained that in drawing up the new regulation, the ministry had taken into account trends in a number of variables over the past five years.

A ministry survey showed there had been a 278.8 percent increase in vessel operating costs over the five-year period.

Crucially, the price of high-speed diesel had increased by 175 percent from Rp 1,586 per liter to Rp 4,362 per liter.

Load factor was another issue that affected pricing. The minister reported that there had been a drop of 40 percent in the average number of passengers using ferry services, rather than the expected 10 percent, due to increasing competition from low-cost airlines.

For example, the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) reported that Makassar, one of the busiest sea ports the country, only recorded 28,690 passengers in March, 12 percent lower than the 32,830 recorded in February.

Based on its experience in previous years, the BPS said the number of ferry and boat passengers normally peaked in June and July.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Navy to raise sunken airplane

The Jakarta Post

JAKARTA: The Indonesian Navy is sending a warship to survey an area believed to be the location of an N22S Nomad surveillance airplane that went down in the waters off Mapur Island in Riau Islands province 20 years ago, an officer said as quoted by news portal on Tuesday.

"We will have a briefing with Navy divers scheduled to arrive here in Tanjung Pinang on Wednesday from Jakarta," commander of the Tanjung Pinang Main Naval Base, Commodore Among Martono, said.

"There is no need to hurry to evacuate the airplane as we already know the location."

The Australian-made surveillance aircraft was piloted by Maj. Suwelo Wibisono when it went down. The wreckage was found by local fishermen last Friday.

The plane's crew and passengers survived the accident and were rescued by a Singaporean warship under surveillance by the ill-fated airplane for entering Indonesian waters.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A fishing boat sank; 13 fishermen went missing

The Jakarta Post

PADANG, West Sumatra (Antara): A boat carrying 14 fishermen sank 17 miles off Pesisir Selatan regency, West Sumatra on Monday.Thirteen of the fishermen are still missing, a rescuer said Tuesday.

"Rescuers helped by police are still searching the 13 fishermen," spokesman of the Pesisir Selatan regental administration Sabrul Bayang was quoted as saying.

The incident occurred after the boat was hit by high waves when the fishermen were doing their job.

Sabrul said the searching was being carried out up to Bengkulu provincial waters as the boat might be carried away by a wild storm in the Sumatra waters.

Antara news agency also reported that another boat owned by a fishery vocational school also went missing but, two of its passengers could be saved.

A survived fisherman said that the 14 fishermen had left for fishing since Sunday.

Monday, June 18, 2007

RI police to get three new Japan-made patrol boats

TOKYO (Antara): The Indonesian Police will have three new Japan-made patrol boats late this year and will use them to deal with crimes like piracy in Malacca Straits, where Japanese ships frequently pass the area, a Japanese official has said.

"The three motorboats will set sail to Indonesia next December or three months faster than schedule," Sumidagawa Shipyard Co. Ltd`s overseas development assistance project general manager K. Fujiwara said Monday.

Indonesian Ambassador Jusuf Anwar witnessed the launching of one of the three patrol boats at Sumidagawa Shipyard last Friday. Sumidagawa Shipyard Co. Ltd. is a manufacturer of patrol boats, ferries, and medium-class warships.

Each of the three patrol boats has 27 meter in length, 98 tons in dead weight, 30 knots in speed and can carry 12 personnel.

Meanwhile, Indonesian Police Educational and Security Office Body Commissioner General Imam Hariyatna said in a report made available here Monday that the three patrol boats were part of a follow-up to the Japanese government`s grant which had been implemented since 1962 when Japan provided Indonesian with war reparations.

President to inaugurate hygienic fish market, minister says

Ambon (ANTARA News) - Marine Affairs and Fisheries Minister Freddy Numbery confirmed that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will inaugurate an hygienic fish market in Tantui area, Baguala sub-district, Ambon, on June 29.

"The construction of the market, which happens to be one of the mega projects in the city, has been completed. The head of state will dedicate it on the occasion of commemorating the 14th National Family Day in Ambon," he told the press here on Sunday.

Numbery, who visited Ambon for an inspection of some fishery projects in Maluku, said that besides an hygienic fish market, he will also inspect some fishery companies in Tual, Southeast Maluku, and in Benjina, Aru district.

As to hygienic fish market covering a 40x100 square meters plot of land was built for the efficient channeling of fish from the production centers to the market.

"The people coming to the hygienic fish market will not only want to buy fresh water fish caught by the fishermen but the fish could also be directly consumed with different flavors," said Numberi in the company of South Maluku Governor Karel Albert Ralahalu.

The market has ten 2x5 square meters aquariums for the display of various fish species, in addition to some cold storages and a small fish pond, he said.

City to build retention wall

The Jakarta Post

JAKARTA: Following the recent high tide that flooded parts of North Jakarta, city administration said it plans to build a new retention wall along the Muara Angke area.

"We need and will build soon a stronger and more permanent retention wall to keep the rising sea level from flooding settlement area," Vice Governor Fauzi Bowo told newsportal on Sunday.

Last week houses in four neighborhood units in Muara Angke were flooded after the high tide smashing an existing retention wall.

Pluit subdistrict head Sugiharjo Timbo is responsible for the area and he said his office had installed four water pumps to help pump out floodwater.

But Timbo said more water pumps were obviously needed.

"We are still trying to find private companies that would cooperate with us in supplying more pumps," he said.

The Meteorology and Geophysics Agency declared the recent high tide in Muara Angke was not out of the ordinary.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Indonesian Navy to get four new warships


Indonesian Navy will have four new warships from Russia, the Netherlands and South Korea, the Navy spokesman Leut. Colonel Toni Syaiful said Saturday.

"The ship made by South Korea to be expected to arrive in Indonesia at the end of 2007," the colonel was quoted by Antara News agency as saying.

Meanwhile, two Sigma-type ships from the Netherlands also to be expected to arrive here at the end of this year, he said.

The spokesman also said that all the crew members are in the Netherlands to master the ships.

In order to pick up a Russian made sub-marine, some 60 naval officers are currently learning Russian language for three months, he added.

Endangered Sea Turtles Receive Vital Protection From Drift Gillnets Off California and Oregon Coasts

By: Center for Biological Diversity, Jun 16, 2007 at 08:45

Under pressure from scientists and conservation groups, the National Marine Fisheries Service denied a proposal to allow drift gillnet vessels to operate in an area off the California and Oregon coasts where such fishing is seasonally banned to protect the critically endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle. The drift gillnet fishery, which targets swordfish, tuna and sharks, also kills not just endangered sea turtles, but humpback, fin, gray and sperm whales, and several species of dolphins and other marine mammals.

Last week the National Marine Fisheries Service notified the regional fishery management body, the Pacific Fishery Management Council, that a proposed exempted fishing permit that would have allowed the use of mile-long drift nets in the Pacific Leatherback Conservation Area (an offshore area reaching from south of Monterey Bay, California to Lincoln City, Oregon), would not be issued.

"We commend NMFS for affirming the protection of Pacific leatherback sea turtles," said Ben Enticknap, Pacific project manager for Oceana, an international organization dedicated to protecting the world's oceans. "We have reached the point where every leatherback sea turtle counts - these majestic and critically endangered animals will go extinct within our lifetimes if we do not act to protect them now."

"The Leatherback Conservation Area has provided role-model protection in much needed efforts to reverse the path towards extinction for the Pacific leatherback," said Karen Steele, campaign coordinator for the Sea Turtle Restoration Project, an international organization dedicated to protection of sea turtles. "The goal should now be an international effort to duplicate this successful protection measure in other critical areas for the leatherback throughout the Pacific."

The Pacific Leatherback Conservation Area was established in 2001 to protect leatherback turtles as they migrate along the west coast of the United States. Since the closure was established, not one leatherback has been reported killed in the drift gillnet fishery. Despite this remarkable success, the Pacific Fishery Management Council last November approved a permit that would have reopened the Conservation Area to drift gillnets during the critical months when turtles are foraging off California and Oregon. In denying the permit, the Fisheries Service cited a recent scientific study that underscores the importance of nearshore waters off the U.S. west coast as critical foraging habitat for migrating leatherback turtles.

Pacific leatherback sea turtles remain in serious trouble, having declined by more than 95 percent in the past 25 years. These champion travelers migrate 6,000 miles from Indonesia and New Guinea to feed off the U.S. coast, dealing with significant obstacles along the way. The decision helps to remove one of those deadly obstacles, giving these ancient and majestic turtles a better chance at surviving for the future.

However, the drift gillnet fishery continues to operate outside the Pacific Leatherback Conservation Area, killing other species of imperiled sea turtles as well as endangered whales and other marine mammals. Moreover, the National Marine Fisheries Service is also currently considering a separate permit, also approved by the Pacific Fishery Management Council, which would allow an experimental pelagic longline fishery in the Pacific Leatherback Conservation Area this fall. Pelagic longline fishing, in which thousands of baited hooks are strung on lines in excess of 40 miles long, is considered a primary cause of the decline of Pacific leatherbacks, which become entangled and drown in the gear.

"While denying the drift gillnet permit is an essential step toward leatherback recovery, allowing pelagic longline fishing along the west coast would undermine these conservations gains," said Brendan Cummings, ocean program director at the Center for Biological Diversity. "We look forward to the day that the ocean waters off California and Oregon are true marine sanctuaries, not killing fields for endangered sea turtles and marine mammals."

Saturday, June 16, 2007

KL detains 14 Thais, Indonesians for suspected illegal fishing

The Jakarta Post

KUALA LUMPUR (AP): Malaysia's navy detained a group of 14 Thais and Indonesians aboard a trawler found fishing without a permit off eastern Malaysia, an official said Saturday.

A naval patrol boat intercepted the vessel, which was carrying 300 kilograms (660 pounds) of fish Friday in Malaysian waters in the South China Sea, said Pahang state navy spokesman Lt. RosliHarun.

The 12 Thais and two Indonesians aboard the trawler will likely face charges of illegal fishing, Rosli said.

Under Malaysian law, skippers charged with illegal fishing can be jailed for up to six months and fined, while crew members can be jailed for up to four months and fined.

The vessel was believed to have been heading from Thailand's Songkhla province to Indonesia's Batam island.

Seribu Islands polluted by oil at least three times per month

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The waters of Seribu Islands group north of Jakarta are polluted by oil at least three times a month, a Seribu Islands National Park (TNKSD) official said.

"Oil pollution in the waters around and in the island group continues to increase although at a slow pace," Sumarto, TNKSD head, said here Monday.

Proof of the oil pollution could be easily seen at Kotok Besar Island which was located only 29 miles north of Jakarta`s Marina Ancol Port.

"Black blobs of oil are covering Kotok Besar Island`s beaches. When we put a finger on a blob it will stick and smell like diesel oil," he said.

Asman Adipurwanti, an officer of an animal rescue organization (IAR), said he saw the oil blobs on the island`s beaches on Sunday morning before they were washed away by waves in the afternoon.

Sumarto, meanwhile, believed the oil blobs had come from offshore oil and gas exploration activity near the Seribu Islands group. "This is just an assumption that still needs to be verified by a thorough investigation," he added.

According to information from the Environment Ministry, Seribu Islands waters have been continuously exposed to pollution since the 1980s. Since 1995, the ecosystem in the island group had been considered to be "dying."

Sumarto said the island group experienced five polluting oil invasions since 2000 with the worst happening in 2003 when 78 islands were affected.

He also estimated that every day 1,500 to 2,000 tons of garbage from 13 rivers in Jakarta were deposited in the waters of the island group.

The Seribu Island group consists of 110 permanent islands and 92 islands appearing only at low tide. Some 21,000 people live on the islands.

Fears of a crocodile soup blackout

Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Banten

Three crocodiles have been spotted since last week in a pond used to cool power turbines at a steam power plant in Suralaya, Banten, sparking fears they could inadvertently shut down the plant.

Turbine operator PT Indonesia Power and the Banten Water Police and Pulomerak police officers have tried to catch the crocodiles over the past days, but to no avail.

"The crocodiles, each measuring about three meters long were seen by employees swimming near the power turbine filter," Indonesia Power general manager Bambang Susanto said Thursday.

"If they enter the turbine filter room, they could disrupt the power supply to Java and Bali," he added.

The power plant occupies most of a swamp long known as a crocodile habitat.

Local residents said crocodiles had often been seen looking for fish around the waterway.

"I've seen crocodiles sunbathing on the bank of the waterway several times," said Mat Alim.

Police were seen guarding the area Thursday, ready to shoot the crocodiles if they emerged.

There has been talk among management of inviting crocodile tamers from North Sumatra to help out. The tamers can handle the carnivorous reptiles without hurting them.

Friday, June 15, 2007

High tides force some 2,000 Jakartans fleeing their houses

JAKARTA (Jakarta Post): More than 2,000 residents of Muara Angke subdistrict, North Jakarta were forced to flee their houses, which were affected by flood, following the high tide in the Jakarta coastal areas.

Suheri, a resident of Muara Angke, told Elshinta news radio that the water level reached some two kilometers from the ground on Thursday night.

The water level was still some 110 centimeters high now (Friday evening," Suheri said, adding that the high tide may be higher in the next following days.

According to Suheri, water had begun entering houses, mostly owned fishermen, since Monday. Such flooding is common in the area, but it was the worst since the recent years.

Jiangsu Eastern wins US$61 mln Indonesian contract

Jakarta (ANTARA News/Asia Pulse) - Chinese shipbuilder Jiangsu Eastern Shipyard has been awarded a contract to build two oil tankers worth US$61.49 million by Indonesia's state-run oil firm Pertamina.

Jiangsu is expected to deliver the two tankers in July 2010, Pertamina President Ari Soemarno said after signing the contract with Jiangsu executives here.

The tankers will be used to transport kerosene for a period of 25 years, he said.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Chinese fishermen arrested in Indonesia for butchering endangered turtles

JAKARTA (Antara): 23 Chinese fishermen would be tried in Indonesia for allegedly killing hundreds of endangered turtles, Antara reported Thursday.

The 23 Chinese fishermen were caught by local customs officials in waters north off East Kalimantan on May 8. They brought 387 dead rare turtles in their ships.

They would face up to five years in prison and a fine of Rp 100 million for the illegal activities.

Singapore, Indonesia ink MOU to enhance safety of ferry services

By Foo Siew Shyan, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 12 June 2007 1714 hrs

SINGAPORE : Singapore and Indonesia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to boost the safety of ferry services between the two countries.

The agreement will see both sides sharing Electronic Navigational Charts for key routes between Singapore and the Indonesian islands of Batam, Bintan and Karimum.

This will benefit some 60 passenger ferries which ply the routes every day.

It will also help maritime authorities of both countries prepare for new international requirements next year, which mandate new ferries to have electronic navigational charts and information systems.

The agreement was inked between the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and its Indonesian counterpart Janhidros in Batam on Tuesday. - CNA /ls

Humpuss to issue $400 M worth of bonds

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Publicly-listed transportation firm PT Humpus Intermoda Transportasi Tbk is planning to issue US$400 million woth of bonds this year to meet capital expenditure needs until 2010.

The bonds would consist of US$350 million senior bonds due in eight years and US$50 million junior bonds due in five years, the company`s president director, Agus Darjanto, said on Wednesday.

He said the company`s capital expenditure needs were projected at US$100-115 million in each of the next three years.

"This year we will buy five ships worth US$159 million," he said.

Some of the funds needed to buy the ships would originate from the capital expenditure and the rest from the sale of two ships estimated worth US$36 million, he said.

In its general shareholders` meeting on Wednesday, the company decided to allocate Rp41.9 billion of its 2006 net profit to pay dividends, and to use the remaining Rp108.76 billion as retained earnings.

PT Pertamina awards $61.49 mln tanker project to Jiangsu

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - State oil and gas firm PT Pertamina said it has awarded a tanker building contract to Jiangsu Eastern Shipyard of China worth 61.49 mln usd.

Pertamina president Ari Soemarno said the firm expects to receive the tanker in July 2010 which will be used to transport crude oil.

"The trend in the (crude oil transportation) market is towards owning your own ships and Pertamina needs more ships to improve its negotiating position (for the price it pays for oil shipments). Another aim of this project is to improve our tanker facilities service and have a younger fleet of ships," he told XFN Asia.

At present Pertamina's own fleet of ships carry just 25 pct of the company's total oil needs with the rest transported by chartered vessels.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Sawu sea haven for whales and dolphins

A. Junaidi, The Jakarta Post, Lembata island, East Nusa Tenggara

While cetaceans such as whales and dolphins are widely hunted in some parts of the world, they could soon find the deep Sawu Sea in East Nusa Tenggara province a safe haven.

Representatives from the provincial administration, three surrounding regencies, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Indonesia, and the Nature Conservancy (TNC) recently signed an agreement to protect sea biodiversity, especially marine mammals.

"The province and regencies are committed to protecting the sea and its biodiversity and will develop sustainable marine tourism," East Nusa Tenggara Deputy Governor Frans Lebu Raya said during the signing ceremony.

Frans believes that the establishment of the Sawu Sea as a marine conservation area will increase the welfare of local fishermen.

Research conducted by WWF and TNC in 2001 and 2002 suggests that seas in the regencies of Alor, Lembata and East Flores are important habitats for 11 whale species, including the endangered blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) and sperm whale (Physeter macrochepalus).

Whales pass through the sea, which connects the Indian and Pacific oceans, during their migration thanks to its one-kilometer depth.

The Sawu Sea is known among global environmentalists as part of a coral triangle -- mainly spanning from west to east and south to north of Indonesia and part of the Philippines -- which is also recognized as one of the richest marine biodiversity areas in the world.

Lembata island is famous for its traditional whalers. Using sailing wooden boats and bamboo spears, they can catch dozens of whales and dolphins every year.

Although the number of local whalers is small compared to their counterparts in Japan, Norway and Iceland, who together kill some 2,000 whales a year with their sophisticated ships and harpoons, they still raise concerns among environmentalists.

Nevertheless. the agreement to protect the Sawu Sea does not in any way aim to ban local fishermen from whaling, which has been their main way of life for hundreds of years.

"No, we do not ban them from whaling. But we want to educate them to conserve the whales for the welfare of the fisherman themselves, their children and their grandchildren in the long term," WWF marine program leader Wawan Ridwan told reporters after the signing ceremony in Lewoleba, Lembata island.

Hopefully, Wawan said, the whalers could only catch mature and unproductive whales and avoid endangered species, such as blue whales and sperm whales.

Whales take between six to 13 years to reach maturity. Their gestation period lasts for between nine and 16 months and they usually give birth to one single calf which needs to be weaned for between eight months to two years. Unproductive whales, on the other hand, are usually those more than 10 meters in sizes.

The 70-nation International Whaling Commission (IWC) has actually agreed on a moratorium on commercial whaling, but commercial whaling still persists. Indonesia is not a member of that commission and is thus not obliged to comply with the policy.

Some countries argue that their whaling is for scientific research, which is allowed by IWC, but in practice they sell whale meat in restaurants.

Besides meat, the marine mammals provide oil for lamps, candles, soaps and perfumes.

The latest IWC scientific survey estimates that there are some 760,000 whales in Antarctic, 149,000 in North Atlantic and 25,000 in the North Pacific. Some species of whales have decreased in number drastically because of overfishing.

Many whales have also been stranded on beaches and died because of heavy pollutants and sonar waves from submarines, which disturb their "navigating sense".

Of the 27 species of whales in the world, 11 species are seen in Indonesia's marine area.

Wawan said the conservation program in the Sawu Sea should also improve the welfare of local whalers.

To increase the fishermen's income, the WWF plans to train locals on other marine-related jobs, such as how to cultivate sea weed and market the product.

"It will take time to educate locals on the importance of the conservation program for them," Wawan said.

Along with the establishment of the Sawu marine conservation area, WWF Indonesia launched the Phinisi ship as a facility in educating whalers, especially local students, on the importance of the conservation program.

The wooden ship, which is 22.5 meters in length and 5.5 meters wide, can accommodate 35 training participants. The construction of the ship, which is also equipped with audio visual devices on environmental education, cost around Rp 600 million.

Besides the ship, the WWF is cooperating with the New York-based Photovoices to make a documentary project on the life of whalers in Lamalera village in Lembata island.

As many as 50 villagers were lent 50 digital cameras and trained by photographer and chief editor of National Geographic Indonesia magazine Tantyo Bangun.

Photovoices director Virginia Ann McBride said that selected photos taken by the villagers would be exhibited in Jakarta and in the Natural Museum of New York.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

RI has installed 90 tsunami early warning systems

MAKASSAR, South Sulawesi (Antara): Indonesia has installed 90 tsunami early warning systems across the country, Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMG) official said Saturday.

"We are planning to install 70 more tsunami detecting devices so that all of the 160 early warning systems worth Rp200 billion will have been installed in the country by 2008," secretary toBMG's Makassar branch Andi Eka Sakiya said.

He said that the devices were among others installed in Java's southern coastal areas and in Sumatra.

According to Andi, the BMG had also installed seven weather radars to serve as an early weather monitoring system in several areas such as Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya and Palembang.

"We need 22 more radar units to cover all of Indonesia so that natural disasters can be anticipated anywhere in the country," he said.

Andi said it was expected that all of the devices would have been installed in various regions by 2010.

The head of BMG's Makassar branch, Hanafi Hamzah, said meanwhile that tsunami early warning systems would also be installed soon in West Sulawesi's and Central Sulawesi's coastal areas.

A fight about fish farms

With the U.S. facing a 'seafood trade deficit,' the industry wants to grow more fish in the ocean - but others say not so fast.

By Marc Gunther, Fortune senior writer, June 8 2007: 10:58 AM EDT

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- Next time you order a shrimp cocktail, eat a bagel with smoked salmon or enjoy a tuna sandwich, know this: The world's appetite for fish is growing a lot faster than the oceans can supply them.

Global fish consumption has doubled in the last 40 years, outpacing population growth. In the U.S., seafood sales have grown by about 10 percent a year since 2001. Nutritionists tout the health benefits of eating fish. But most ocean fisheries are fully exploited or overfished.

What to do? The seafood industry wants to grow more fish on farms, which already cultivate shrimp, salmon, oysters, clams, catfish and other species - providing nearly half the world's fish.

New legislation proposed by the Bush administration would make it easier to develop industrial-scale aquaculture in ocean waters. Today, U.S. aquaculture is concentrated in lakes, ponds and waters close by the shore.

"If we expect people to eat seafood twice a week because it's good, we really need to get aquaculture going in this country." says John Connelly, president of the National Fisheries Institute, a Washington-based trade association.

Read More

Thursday, June 7, 2007

BMG asks for more weather radars

YOGYAKARTA (The Jakarta Post) : The Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMG) said Wednesday it has asked the government to purchase more weather monitoring radars so it can improve its performance around the archipelago.

"Our seven climate monitoring radars are inadequate to cover Indonesia's vast area. So we have asked the government to purchase more radars," BMG secretary Andi Eka Sakiya was quoted as saying by the news portal.

Currently radars are located in big cities such as Jakarta, Medan, Palembang and Surabaya he said. BMG hopes to have 22 more radars, which could also function as early warning systems for disasters.

"By 2010, BMG aims to have 48 weather radars. All disaster-prone areas will hopefully be able to be monitored by then," Andi said, adding that the radars would be placed in areas including Aceh, West Sumatra and southern Java.

Sea transit bill awaits new safety information

Alvin Darlanika Soedarjo, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Transportation Ministry has said that the draft of the sea transportation bill is almost complete and is only waiting on safety information.

"We are gathering a list of crucial problems before we can formulate any amendments to the sea transportation bill draft," Transportation Minister Jusman Syafii Djamal told reporters on Wednesday.

"The draft is about 60 to 70 percent complete."

Jusman added that the sea transportation bill could not be deliberated simultaneously with the aviation bill at the House.

"They should be deliberated in a series. Judging from their content and entry, the sea transportation bill has the priority."

Transportation Ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan said that once the draft was submitted there would be no retraction of the bill.

"There will be only progress instead of retreat," he said.

The Indonesian Transport Community had earlier said that many sea accidents occurred because of the incompetence of the crew, particularly captains. Many ships were also too old to be running, it said.

A legislator from House's Commission V overseeing transportation affairs, Abdullah Aswar Anas, told The Jakarta Post that the House would discuss the aviation bill first because the sea transportation bill was not yet ready.

"We are ready to deliberate the sea transportation bill. However, we will wait until the new minister understands the content of the sea transportation draft," said Aswar, who represents the National Awakening Party.

Jusman said that in order to increase aviation security and safety, airport operators should create a detailed road map according to international safety standards.

"Dangerous goods should be segregated to increase security. In safety, motorcycles should be banned from entering specific areas of the airport," he said.

"Local airports also have to be classified by the international industry as safe."

As for new commercial airlines, such as Lorena Air, which is due to begin operation soon, Jusman said that airlines should compete with each other in a good way.

"Don't just drop the ticket prices and disregard safety issues," he said.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

RI's shipbuilding industry set for fair weather

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The shipbuilding industry is recovering from a two-year-long downturn as shipbuilders benefit from an influx of both domestic and overseas orders.

"The industry is expected to grow by 9.5 percent this year and surpass 10 percent next year as shipbuilders have received major orders from both local and overseas customers," Julius Tangketasik, a senior official at the Industry Ministry's Directorate General of Transportation and Communications Industries, told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

Made up of more than 250 ship- and boatbuilders, the industry grew by 7 percent last year, higher than 2005's growth of 6 percent, according to the directorate general's figures.

The figures also reveal that the maximum capacity of the national shipbuilding industry is expected to reach a total of 450,000 deadweight tons (DWT) this year, with shipbuilders operating at 65 percent capacity.

These figures compare with 400,000 DWT and 55 percent capacity last year.

State-owned oil and gas producer Pertamina recently ordered three vessels worth US$81.82 million from state-owned PT Dok dan Perkapalan Kodja Bahari (DKB) and state-owned PT PAL Indonesia.

Julius said countries like Germany, Italy, Turkey and the Netherlands had also ordered ships from Indonesia, mostly vessels of more than 5,000 DWT.

"Those countries have placed orders here as producers in other countries like Japan, South Korea and China are fully booked," he said.

The increasing demand, he added, had also been supported by Presidential Instruction No. 5/2005 on the development of the domestic shipping industry, which stipulated that only locally made vessels carrying the national flag can transport freight through Indonesian waters.

The instruction has forced shipping firms to replace their 2,000 non-national flagged vessels with locally flagged ones, Julius explained.

He noted, however, that Indonesia was far behind Japan and South Korea, which jointly controlled the global shipbuilding industry with a combined 70 percent market share.

"The important thing is that we benefit from this peak before this 20-year cycle begins to wind down," said Julius.

Similar views were expressed by DKB general manager Tjahjono Roesdianto, who was attending a transportation industry exhibition running from Tuesday through Friday at the ministry headquarters.

"Shipbuilders will be able to continue benefiting from this business over the next 10 years only if the government fully enforces the instruction," he told the Post.

He said the industry had adequate human resources and produced quality vessels, but "unhelpful" local bureaucracy and the banks could prevent the industry from growing further.

"The instruction actually urges financing companies, including banks, to actively help fund the industry by, for instance, offering lower interest rates," he said. "Perhaps, they think shipbuilding is a risky business."

According to Julius, the lending rate is between 4 and 5 percent for the industry in Malaysia, and between 2 and 3 percent in Singapore.

Both are lower than Indonesia's above 13 percent.