The collaboration is part of the public awareness campaigns for keeping the coastal and ocean environment healthy and free from plastic waste
Bogor, W Java (ANTARA) - Central Java’s crab fishermen group recently conducted an ocean cleanup by removing three tons of plastic waste from Pemalang Beach and Java Sea since they believe a healthy ocean will facilitate production of healthy crabs.

This cleanup activity took place at the Pejarakan area of Danasari Village by involving those from several related government agencies and companies, according to a press statement made available by Hawis Madduppa, an IPB fisheries expert, on Thursday.

Some 152 crab fishermen around Pemalang District joined hands with those from the district government's fisheries and environmental affairs offices, head of Danasari Village, as well as representatives of several enterprises.

Sponsored by Blue Star Foods Corp, an importer of crabmeat products from Indonesia, this program was conducted by collaborating with crab processor company (PT BSA), Indonesia Crab Processing Company (APRI), and crab processors supply chain (miniplants).

"The collaboration is part of the public awareness campaigns for keeping the coastal and ocean environment healthy and free from plastic waste. The government lauds this," Head of Pemalang District's Environmental Affairs Office Agus Harto Wibowo stated.

Wibowo noted that Pemalang has a population of some 1.4 million, wherein each produces 0.4 kilograms of plastic waste on a daily basis, and a half of the total 300 tons of this plastic waste can be managed by his office, while the people are expected to handle the rest.

Pemalang District has applied proper waste management across the province, he pointed out, adding that private companies are advised to partake in combined efforts to tackle this waste problem by emulating and sponsoring the waste management efforts.

In the meantime, RR Ida Komaria from the district's fisheries office was quoted as saying that a healthy environment is indispensable to healthy fisheries management. This is also part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) principles.

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Speaking in connection with the number of crab fishermen in Pemalang District, she remarked that Danasari Village had 520 crab fishers, while the Pejarakan area had 152. With a total of 180 crab fishing boats, the district's crab harvest contributes Rp8 billion on a monthly basis.

APRI Executive Director Dr Hawis Madduppa, concurrently a marine and fisheries expert at the Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), shared insights into the dangers of dumping plastic trash at sea for marine life to local crab fishermen while fishing.

Madduppa admitted to have encouraged the local fishermen to remove plastic waste, including nets floating at sea, as well as to stay vigilant about the government's catch size regulations for crabs.

Dr Madduppa drew attention to Marine Affairs and Fisheries Ministerial Regulation No. 56 of 2016 on the ban on catching and/or harvesting lobsters, crabs, and blue swimming crabs.

By applying the no-plastic waste principle while fishing, the local fishermen have supported the BSC Fishery Improvement Program (FIP) in Indonesia.

"If the size of crabs caught is less than 10 cm, particularly those that are laying eggs, please release them again into the sea. That is a way to preserve the environment for the sustainability of our fishermen's own income," he stated.

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PT Blue Star Anugrah (BSA), one of the local crab processors in Pemalang, revealed that some of its raw material of crabmeat is sourced from Pejarakan, Danasari Village.

Hence, the BSA management supported the coastal cleanup by taking into account its positive impact on building supply chain awareness for creating a sustainable business and conservation.

Bambang Arif Nugraha from Blue Star Foods. Corp. USA affirmed that his company applied the "Triple Bottom Line main principles" to balance sustainability of the business through Social and Environment (People-Planet-Profit) sustainability.

"Healthy oceans will produce healthy crabs," he was quoted as saying.

Nugraha's colleague from the Blue Star Foods Corp-Miami, USA, Edwing Fuentes, affirmed that they had developed "Trace Crab," a cloud-based system that enables them to accurately trace crabmeat products from healthy oceans to plate.

The application of this system can be beneficial to all crab supply chains, including the Pemalang District-based fishermen, through long-term market recognition in the US, he was quoted as saying. Related news: Indonesia Approves Blue Swimming Crab Harvest Control Rule

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Reporter: Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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