Traditional Trades Being Weeded Out

[Indonesia] The head of the Bali Provincial Seaways and Fisheries Department, I Made Gunaja, told that many traditional seaweed cultivators on Nusa Penida have change professionals to informal tour guides or assistants in finding moorings for the many boats that operate at the offshore island from Bali.

Speaking on Friday, June 19, 2015, Gunaja said: “These two forms of employment offer better prospect due to the increasing number of foreign and domestic tourists coming to the island (Nusa Penida) that can be reached in about 30 minutes by motorboat from the Sanur shoreline.”

Gunaja said the establishment of area as a sea conservation area has precipitated the fast tourism growth now underway at Nusa Penida.

Gunaja described Nusa Penida as increasing well known to water sports enthusiasts because of its excellent coral reef, abundant fish life and textile traditions practiced by the Island’s residents.

“On Nusa Penida the giant mola-mola fish and manta rays can be found in the waters, both admired as underwater species,” said Gunaja.

The provincial official went on to say that tourism’s advance in Bali must not only benefit investors, but also the farmers who have worked in the fishery and seaweed harvesting, but now turn their working lives to tourism.

Former seaweed gatherers now work bringing tourists to diving and snorkeling locations. Others are assisting in the mooring of the many boats seeking anchorages near Nusa Penida.

Gunaja said some seaweed farmers continue to harvest their crops, but with less interest and intensity than in the past. As a result, the total seaweed harvest at Nusa Penida in 2014 totaled 84,338 tons, down 42% from the 145,557 tons harvested in 2013.

The provincial authorities continue to encourage seaweed cultivation in order to preserve that traditional sector of the economy.


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