Foul Play in Fishery Exports, says National Assoc

Jumat, 27 Januari 2012 | 09:01

The Indonesian Fishery Businessmen Association says the accusation that Indonesian fish were contaminated by mercury is part of a shady business strategy to harm the industry.Despite the prevalence of such rumors, however, the volume of fish exports has not dropped. Last year, frozen fish exports accounted for 3.14 percent of the total export value of US$3.2 billion.

“It could be a business strategy,” the association’s executive-director, yesterday. If it is proven to be true, he estimated that the price of fishery products would drop compared to the initially agreed price.

The Hong Kong Food and Environmental Hygiene Department last week announced that mercury contained in Indonesian fish in 2011 was not in line with its regulations.

The department found the mercury content was 0.93 part per million, while the regulation in Hong Kong only allows a maximum of 0.5 part per million.

Bambang said he would recheck the case, the fish that allegedly contained mercury, the tonnage and the export companies.

The Maritime and Fishery Ministry’s foreign marketing director, Saut Parulian Hutagalung, said the information would be available in the next two or three weeks. “We’re still waiting for an official explanation from the consulate general in Hong Kong. It’s still the Chinese New Year’s holidays there,” he said.

Fishery analyst from the Bogor Institute of Agriculture, Arif Satria, said the accusation could be part of China’s strategy to hold fish exports from Indonesia because Hong Kong does not have a water area and there is no policy that protects fishermen from imported products. “On the other hand, Hong Kong needs our fishery products,” he said.

However, he did not deny that some fishery products do contain mercury. These fish are mostly caught in polluted areas such as Jakarta Bay, he said.

ARIF ARIANTO,20120126-379851,uk.html

Dayak Protest Forest Takeover
Thursday, 26 January, 2012 | 14:39 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, BALIKPAPAN:The Dayak Banuaq people in West Kutai, East Kalimantan, are urging the Indonesian public to act against a palm oil company for taking over its customary forest in Muara Tae.

“We call for help to protect our forest and ancestral land,” Dayak Banuaq leader, Singko, said yesterday. The local forest is now surrounded by plantations and coal mines.

“The local people are the true guardians of the forest and their fate relies on the forest,” said Telapak Forest campaigner, Abu Meridian.