The reptiles were relocated to the port as their natural habitats were destroyed after being converted into industrial parks. According to reports, several people admitted to crocodile sightings nearby jetty areas and boat waterways.
"A large number of mangrove forests along the riverside were damaged," Pangkalbalam Port Authority Office's legal status and vessel certification officer, Harlansyah, noted in Pangkalpinang City, Saturday.
Since 2018, Bangka Belitung Governor Erzaldi Rosman Djohan had planned to transform a 500-hectare land of natural ecosystem near the port into an industrial park. Of the total figure, 42 hectares will be reclaimed from waters and estuary areas.
Construction of the industrial park can direly impact the natural habitats of crocodiles in rivers, estuaries, and brackish waters.
Hence, the port authority office has called on ship crew members to recheck their surroundings during maintenance activities at the vessel's hulls.
"We will contact our counterparts at local government offices and the conservation office to suitably handle the issue. We expect no casualties amid the possible crocodile attack," he added.
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