Indonesia’s Minister of Seas and Fisheries, Syarif Cicip Sutardjo, participated in the sinking of a larges ship in the offshore area of Perbekelan in Karangasem, East Bali.
Seputarbali.com reports that the 150 ton ship measuring 87 meters long was sunk to create an artificial reef habitat for sea life in the popular dive area off Tulamben.
The ship once worked as a patrol boat for the Department of Sea Communication before being bought by two expatriates who donated the ship the regency government of Karangasem. The vessel was built in Holland in 1952.
The vessel now lies at the bottom of the sea some 200 meters off shore from the village of Kubu in Karangasem.
The actual “sinking” was marked by Cicip pushing a button that scuttled the ship from a distance sending it to the bottom of the sea. At the same ceremony, the Minister provided capital support worth Rp. 3.82 billion (US$402,000) to projects in support of fishermen in Karangasem.
Commenting at the event, the regent of Karangasem, I Wayan Geredeg, said that his region has the second-longest stretch of seashore in Bali that is home to 6,500 fishermen divided into 240 groups spread across the sub districts of Manggis, Karangasem, Abang and Kubu.
Thus far in 2012, Karangasem had produced 18,000 tons of fish worth Rp. 164 billion (US$17.3 million), figure that up significantly from 2011 when for the entire year 16,000 tons of fish emanated from the regions.
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