Green shellfish restoration in Jakarta Bay improves seawater

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(photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – Jakarta Bay, or more specifically the Ancol Dreamland area, is the natural habitat of var­ious marine biota, such as green shellfish, rock crabs, ketang, angel fish, jellyfish, baronang, sembilang, damsel fish, etc. This habitat is se­verely threatened by the poor qual­ity of the water in Jakarta Bay. Ac­cording to the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (Lembaga Ilmu Pengeta­huan Indonesia – “LIPI”)’s records in 2018, every day 21 tons of waste flow from the 13 rivers that empty into Jakarta Bay. They carry liquid waste from households, the city and industries. Research from a marine expert from the Bogor Insti­tute of Agriculture (Institut Pertani­an Bogor – “IPB”) several years ago reported that sea water in Jakarta Bay is polluted by 52,156 tons of silicate, 6,741 tons of phosphate, and 21,260 tons of nitrogen.

The green shellfish (Perna Vir­idis) living in Jakarta Bay are con­taminated with heavy metals such as mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), chrome (Cr), and zinc (Sn). Green shellfish is the natural sea water filter that can improve water quality. The return of green shellfish population in coastal ar­eas will exert a positive impact on water quality, biota population and biodiversity in the Ancol sea.

In an effort to upgrade the qual­ity of sea water in Ancol waters and to restore biodiversity, the Manage­ment of PT Pembangunan Jaya Ancol Tbk has taken an initiative to restore green shellfish since 2018. This effort naturally needs the sup­port of everyone in the community, whether governmental or private.

This time, PT Pembangunan Jaya Ancol Tbk with the DKI Ja­karta CSR Forum held a green shellfish release action in Ancol sea on Sunday, 6 October 2019. The action was supported by several communities, including Rumah Millennials, MM Sustainability of Trisakti University and Lock and Lock. In this event, participants prepared 50 steel barrels with a dimension of 50 cm x 30 cm x 10 cm to contain 20 kg of green shellfish each, and then release them all together in the North Ja­karta sea (a total of 3 tons). This release is hoped to improve water quality.

DKI Jakarta CSR Forum Chair­man Mahir Bayasut stated that the pollution of Jakarta Bay from various types of waste containing hazardous heavy metals is the re­sponsibility of everyone living in DKI Jakarta. Everybody who cares for the environment should collab­orate in the effort to preserve bio­diversity in Jakarta Bay. “We really appreciate the Management of PT Pembangunan Jaya Ancol Tbk. for having initiated green shellfish res­toration. We hope that this would inspire other companies to care more about environmental issues in DKI Jakarta,” he said.

PT Pembangunan Jaya Ancol’s Manager of Corporate Communi­cations, Rika Lestari, appreciates the support shown by the DKI Ja­karta CSR Forum as its partner in the green shellfish restoration pro­gram. “We ask a number of groups to campaign on the green shellfish restoration as a movement. This activity increases the possibility of improving the waters of Jakarta Bay,” she said.

Results of research and exper­iment by the Ancol Conservation Team last year show that 1 kg of green shellfish is able to filter 10 liters of water per hour. The initial 96 kg of restored green shellfish was able to filter 960 liters of sea water naturally and reduce nitro­gen levels at 21 mg per hour. “Our target this year is to grow out 1,000 kg of green shellfish, meaning to filter 10 liters of sea water every hour naturally, without any help from technology or humans. With the involvement of the DKI Jakar­ta CSR Forum, Rumah Millennials, and many others, we hope to ex­ceed the target,” Rika said.

Green shellfish release is one action in the chain of Sustainabil­ity Fest 2019 activities to be held on 2 November 2019. Themed “Sustainability Is Us”, Sustain Ability Fest 2019 agenda in­cludes Creative Talk, Exhibition, Community Action and Donation, and Artist Performance. The peak event will be the presentation of the Padmamitra+ Awards 2019 to a number of private companies, State-owned Enterprises, and Region-owned Enterprises (in­cluding their subsidiaries), along with community organizations, foundations and other non-profit organizations that contributed to social welfare and sustainable de­velopment in DKI Jakarta.