Indonesia: Tens of thousands of dead fish wash up on Ancol Beach

thejakartapost.com 1 Dec 15;

Following the finding of tens of thousands of dead fish, resulting in a pungent smell, along Ancol Beach in North Jakarta on Monday, environmental campaign group Greenpeace has cited three possible causes for the phenomenon.

The first possibility, Greenpeace campaigner Arifsyah Nasution said on Tuesday, related to the accumulation of water from contaminated rivers on the northern coast due to rain.

“For example, water from the Ciliwung River contains organic materials and [dangerous waste] B3. During rain, this water can accumulate in the estuary, which is Jakarta Bay," Arifsyah said as quoted by kompas.com.

He added that the situation could lead to a lack of oxygen for fish. "The fish would be unable to survive due to the change in environment happening too fast," said Arifsyah.

He also said that the increased growth of a certain algae species during the rainy season could have led to competition for oxygen between plants and fish.

The third possibility, he added, was due to the B3 that came from several industries nestled in the coastal area of North Jakarta.

"The waste thrown out by [these industries] and the circulation in the seawater could lead to the death of Jakarta Bay fish," said Arifsyah, adding that the group needed to conduct further research to make a conclusive confirmation.

Previously, Jakarta Police spokesperson Comr. Edi Guritno said that he had received reports from residents regarding seawater anomalies near Ancol Beach prior to the discovery of the dead fish.

"According to locals, the sea has two types of water: clear and brown-colored," said Edi on Monday, adding that samples of the dead fish and seawater would be examined at the city's fisheries laboratory.

According to a report by kompas.com, the police and Ancol Beach management conducted a clean-up operation from 7 a.m. on Monday to transport the dead fish, which consisted of various species, to a nearby incinerator. (liz/kes)(+)


Thousands of fish found dead in Ancol
The Jakarta Post 1 Dec 15;

Thousands of dead fish of various species washed up along Ancol beach in North Jakarta on Monday, allegedly due to toxin contamination from nearby rivers.

“Ancol management reported that it had found many dead fish on its beach early on Monday morning. When we arrived at the scene, there was around a ton of fish washed up on it,” said law enforcement head of Jakarta Water Police division Comr. Edi Guritno.

He added that there were various types of fish, such as snapper, mullet, grouper and milkfish.

According to Edi, after the report, the water police immediately took measures to remove the dead fish from the coastline, as well as investigating the cause of their deaths.

He added that the police, in cooperation with Ancol management, had deployed a pickup truck and plastic bags to take the fish from the shore to the Ancol garbage dump, where they would be burned.

Edi said the police had sent samples of the fish and sea water to the Jakarta Maritime, Agriculture and Food Security Agency (KPKP) for scientific examination to confirm the cause of death.

Nonetheless, Edi said that the Ancol management and residents suspected that the fish had died of poisoning from pollutants carried by rivers that flowed into the sea in the Ancol area.

Separately, head of the KPKP’s fisheries division, Lilik Litasari, offered a similar interpretation.

Lilik told reporters that she had met with a number of Ancol management staff and residents and also examined the condition of the water.

Based on her preliminary investigation, she concluded that the waters had been contaminated with hydrogen sulfide (H2S), a colorless poison carried in the mud from the rivers. According to her, the H2S deprived the sea water of oxygen, causing the death of the fish.

According to her, the poisonous mud had possibly flowed to the sea during rain last Friday and Saturday.

“This is a phenomenon that usually occurs early in the rainy season after a long drought. A large volume of water flows from the land to the sea, carrying along sediment that has been deposited in the rivers,” Lilik said.

However, Lilik emphasized that the current theory was only based on the preliminary analysis and that the agency would make a final conclusion after receiving results from the laboratory.

She revealed that Monday’s incident was not the first for Ancol’s management, as it had experienced a similar phenomenon previously, although not with an amount of dead fish as large as this.

Ancol management said that a similar incident occurred three years ago.

According to Pembangunan Jaya Ancol corporate communications manager Rika Lestari, the management had predicted Monday’s incident for over a week before the dead fish were discovered.

“A week ago, our field officers predicted this would occur as they saw foam on the sea water,” Rika said.

She added that in the name of safety the management was currently asking beach visitors not to swim on the beach.

Responding to the issue, an environmental activist from Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), Mukri Friatna, urged the Jakarta administration to quickly examine the quality of its sea water considering that Monday’s incident was not the first of its kind.

He said that by examining the sea water the administration could identify what substances were in the water and thus discover if the water was polluted because of natural toxins or a result of bad waste management.

“In the end, they [the officials] can decide the best measures to reduce contamination in Jakarta’s seas,” Mukri said. (agn)


BPLHD: Industrial Waste May Be to Blame for Ancol Fish Deaths
Thousands of dead fish have flooded the waters of Ancol, North Jakarta. (Antara Photo/M Agung Rajasa)
Jakarta Globe 1 Dec 15;

Jakarta. The Jakarta Environmental Agency, or BPLHD, suspects the deaths of thousands of fish in the waters of Ancol, North Jakarta, were caused by industrial pollution, an official said on Tuesday.

“We have to check the water quality. It is possible that [the deaths] were caused by industrial waste since 13 rivers flow into Ancol,” BPLHD head Junaedi told CNN Indonesia on Tuesday.

A BPLHD team will collect water samples from the Jakarta Bay and rivers around Ancol for further investigation. The Jakarta Police's forensic laboratory (Puslabfor) and the city's Fisheries and Marine Agency will also join the case.

“The Fisheries and Marine Agency will take samples and the police will help analyze the case,” Junaedi said.

A similar incident last year was caused by garbage choking the city's rivers after a shift in seasons, he said.

“[In 2014], the wet season brought pouring rain, which washed away garbage and waste into the rivers, leading to a lack of oxygen in the water and killing the fish,” he explained.

“But in the current case, we are still in the process of discovering what exactly has caused the phenomenon [fish deaths] — whether it is industrial waste or a change in seasons,” he added.

If industrial waste is proven to be the culprit, Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama announced on Monday he will force the closure of the companies and factories responsible.

"But for now, just let the BPLHD do its job," he said.


Minister to collect data on contaminated water areas
Antara 2 Dec 15;

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.(*)


Phytoplankton population explosion caused death of fish in Ancol: LIPI
Antara 2 Dec 15;

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The mass death of fish, found washed ashore North Jakartas Ancol Dream Land beach, was due to a population boom of the Coscinodiscus spp. species of phytoplankton, noted the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI).

In a press statement here on Wednesday, the Oceanic Research Center of LIPI said the phytoplankton population had significantly reduced the oxygen content in the water.

According to LIPI, based on tests conducted on the water samples taken from three locations on Ancol beach on Tuesday, the oxygen content in the water was found to be very low at only 0.765 milliliters per liter (ml/L), while the normal oxygen level is about four to five ml/L.

The low content of dissolved oxygen is the cause of the mass death of fish at Ancol beach. Based on the observation, the density of phytoplankton was recorded at one to two million cells per liter of water.

Coscinodiscus spp. is one of the species that is actually not dangerous, but since it has a large number of cells, it absorbs a significant amount of oxygen, thereby resulting in a drop in the levels of dissolved oxygen in the water.

Thousands of dead fish were found washed up along the Ancol beach early on Monday.

The fish species found dead, included milk fish (bandeng), mullet fish, snapper fish, and the so-called kentang-kentang fish.(*)

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