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Jakarta Post

Fishermen suffer from oil spill, activists to file lawsuit

  • Yemris Fointuna

    The Jakarta Post

Kupang   /   Wed, August 8 2012   /  07:47 am

Fishermen, who earn a living from catching fish or farming seaweed in the south of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), can only recall the heyday when they sailed into the clean open sea, caught many fish and cultivated fresh seaweed.

Their fortune changed in August 2009 when an oil platform, owned by Thai-based oil rig operator PTTEP Australasia, in the Montara field off Australia’s north coast exploded in August 2009, leaking 2,000 barrels of oil a day and polluted Timor Sea and the nearby waters.

A number of fishermen in Kupang acknowledged their catches had drastically dropped because waters in the south of the province that border immediately with Australia have been polluted with oil so the bottom-dwelling fish have migrated to other waters.

“The fishermen have been searching for fish in the north of Timor Island around Batek Island and the Alor island chain and its...