How It Feels to Watch Your Reef – and Livelihood – Get Pulverised

Human Wrongs Watch

When it rains, water flows off the top of the barges into the ocean, turning it black. When it’s hot and the sun is baking down, the coal heats up and starts to smoke, making us cough and we have trouble breathing. Once, my friend started violently vomiting because the fumes were too much.
Activists intercept barges carrying coal from mines in Kalimantan to power plants in Java, Indonesia © Nugroho Adi Putera / Greenpeace

Greenpeace Indonesia activists intercept barges in Karimun Jawa carrying coal from mines in Kalimantan to power plants in Java, Indonesia. © Nugroho Adi Putera / Greenpeace

Worst of all, the coal barges park near the reef where we local fishermen lay our bait and our traps. When the barges come in, the bait is gone and the traps are destroyed. The reef is demolished – crushed by the barges, pulverised by their anchors. Once teeming with life, now no fish wants to stay there, which means we don’t have enough to feed our families.

 A drone image shows damaged coal reef near Kecil island in the area of Karimunjawa National Park, Central Java © Nugroho Adi Putera / Greenpeace

A drone image shows damaged coal reef near Kecil island in the area of Karimun Jawa National Park, Central Java. © Nugroho Adi Putera / Greenpeace

We also fish cuttlefish at night, using light to attract them to our boat. But the coal barges have brighter lights than ours so they end up fishing those cuttlefish, further depleting us from our income.

We’ve filed reports and complaints to the local authorities, pleading the barges park elsewhere, outside the national park area and away from the traditional fisheries zone. But nothing has happened.

If this continues, our children will suffer, because no one will be able to fish here.

I want the beauty of Karimun Jawa to be enjoyed by future generations – I tell them it’ll soon be up to them to preserve its pristine nature.

Until then, for the good of the coral and our community, please help us stand up against these destructive barges.

*Madjuri, who goes by one name, is a fisherman and member of the local community in Karimun Jawa, Central Java, Indonesia 

Madjuri’s story was published in Greenpeace. Go to ORIGINAL.



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