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Jakarta Post

Contaminated sea collapses fish industry

  • Trisha Sertori

    Contributor

Jakarta   /   Thu, April 11 2013   /  01:18 pm

Business: A woman sells fish on the roadside between Padang Bai and Kusamba.The waters around Kusamba were once so rich in fish that three fishing boats could be swapped for an acre of coastal land.

Sixty-four-year-old Gusti Lanang Oka, a former fisherman from the village in Klungkung, says those boats offered a much better livelihood than farming, so were far more valuable than land.

“The seas back in 1969 were so clear you could see the fish. This place we are sitting on is half a hectare of land we bought with two boats, that’s how rich the sea was. We even had Napoleon fish. We used to swim in the sea and wash our fishing nets in the river here. Now it’s so dirty we can’t use the river and if we swim we get itchy. The sea is contaminated and the fish are gone,” he says.

Still strong despite his years, Oka says he is saddened that fishing as a way of lif...