The government has issued warning against fish consumption caught in Jakarta Bay upon the discovery of dead fish on the beaches of Ancol, Kamal Muara and the Thousand Islands since May 7. The Jakarta Post asked a few residents how they would deal with the matter.
Ferdi, 22, is a university student who is currently doing an internship at Kompas daily. He lives with his parents in Cilangkap, East Jakarta:
I rarely eat fish to be frank, but if I happen to do so I will, of course, keep the warning in mind.
For fish that's size indicates it comes from the deep sea -- which I can also verify with the seller -- I don't think I will have any problem consuming it.
I will, however, be cautious of small fish which might be of the type that lives in the shallow waters of Jakarta Bay.
I will also stop consuming clams and oysters -- not just temporarily but maybe forever -- since I now know that they are very susceptible to the accumulation of dangerous toxic substances and heavy metals from polluted waters.
Budijanto, 29, is a computer administrator at a private company in Setiabudi, Central Jakarta. He lives with his wife and son in Cipinang, East Jakarta:
Actually, the warnings are quite clear: it only refers to fish and clams that are caught in Jakarta Bay.
But then, how are we supposed to know which fish and clams come from the bay, and which do not?
Come to think of it, how can we make sure which fish and clams are free from any dangerous substances, because I'm pretty sure that pollution is now present everywhere.
You can't even be a vegetarian nowadays to escape the pollutants and diseases that plague beef, poultry and now fish, because even vegetables are cultivated using chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
We just have to accept this polluted world that we ourselves have created, and contemplate it each time casualties arise because of pollution.
To keep my family safe, I think we'll stick to freshwater fish for the meantime, at least until the government says that they're polluted too, and then it wouldn't matter anymore -- whatever we eat will be dangerous to our health.
-- The Jakarta Post