Minister to collect data on contaminated water areas

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Marine Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said her ministry would take stock of polluted water areas in an effort to create healthy conditions in the countrys waters.

"We will ask for data on the polluted areas in Indonesian waters that contain hazardous waste material," the minister said here on Tuesday.

She said her ministry would seek assistance from a number of countries which own satellites, such as Norway, to collect data on the areas contaminated by hazardous material.

The minister said although the country did not have a satellite, yet Indonesia has remained committed to deploying task forces to check illegal fishing to cruise through and examine the countrys water areas. "Although we do not have a satellite, we must carry out what we are committed to. We have our task forces which we will deploy," she said.

It was reported on Monday that thousands of fish had stranded ashore and died at the Ancol Dream Land beach in North Jakarta. The worsening water quality and climate change phenomenon were believed to be the cause.

The Jakarta Environmental Agency (BPLHD), according to the Jakarta Globe on Tuesday, suspected that the deaths of thousands of fish in the waters of Ancol were caused by industrial pollution.

"We have to check the water quality. It is possible that these [deaths] were caused by industrial waste since 13 rivers flow into Ancol," BPLHD head Junaedi was quoted by the Jakarta Globe as telling CNN Indonesia on Tuesday.

A BPLHD team will collect water samples from the Jakarta Bay and rivers around Ancol for further investigation. The Jakarta Polices forensic laboratory (Puslabfor) and the citys Fisheries and Marine Agency will also join in the investigations.

"The Fisheries and Marine Agency will take samples and the police will help investigate the case," Junaedi said.(*)