FISH FARMING IN MANINJAU LAKE NEEDS SYNERGY WITH TOURISM
By: M. Rahmat Ibrahim
Fish farming activities in the lake Maninjau using floating net cages (Keramba Jaring Apung - KJA) begins with a trial in 1992. Apparently the trial is successful, so that attracts people and businesman trying to fish farming in KJA. Year by year the people who interrested on KJA enhanced, so that KJA unit placed in the lake Maninjau has increased. After five years on KJA, on 1997 a disaster had happened, for the first time hundreds of ton fishes dead.
Fish farmers initially thought the death was caused by toxic sulfur, it is because the lake Maninjau derived from volcanic eruptions. If the poison comes from the sulfur should occur every year, so it's like happening in other places like the artificial lake (dam) of Cirata, fish mortality occurs due to the accumulation of fish feces lasted many years. In Maninjau Lake, with the onshore wind, fish feces (toxins) from the bottom of the lake raised to the surface which can kill the fish.
Although farming fisheng dead every years, the fish farmer doesn’t give up or stop trying, because its still profitable. After the weather condition is back to normal, the fish farmers resume the fish farming activities, usually started by the women. In the mean time, the man still suffer a bit mental disorder like stress due to recent failure of fish farming.
The death of the fish will happen every year If it not avoided or prevented. This incident is a waste of capital, and will run out savings day by day, the farmers and their families will fall into poverty. Another consequences of the death of fish in lake is made the lake uncomfortable to visit, because of the stench spread around the lake. While there is a place for tourist to stay and eat at The Lakeside Hotel and Restaurant. The stench of these fish will reduce tourist’s interrest to visit Maninjau Lake.
Fish deaths occured consecutively, at the end of the year (December) and the beginning of the year (January) when a storm strikes, in the sea it called west wind. Therefore the death of fish in the lake can be avoided by not cultivating during the wind period. The fish farmers should schedule the fish farming activities in eight months only, while the rest four months to break farming or try another business. No farming activities in Lake could bring a good impact to the environment, because the water and the air of the lake back to proper condition which can give also a good impact to the tourism. The death of fish can also be avoided by continuously flushing fish feces with rushing water.
To avoid and prevent the death of fish in the Maninjau Lake , the stake holder should meet together in a discusion forum and it’s result could be a foundation to make a Local Regulation (Peraturan Daerah - PERDA). the stakeholders are: 1) the farmers, 2) the production merchant, 3) the fish merchants, 4) the hotel and restaurant (Pengusaha Hotel dan Restoran - PHRI), 5) the authority of PLTA Maninjau, 6) Agam Regency administration. Discusion forum is important to prevent social conflict problem.
The author is pensionary of DJPB - KKP