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Project September 9, 2023

The Fish Who Lost Their 'Paradise' in the Musi River

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Communities in South Sumatra place the Musi River [750 kilometers], which originates at Bukit Barisan and empties into the Bangka Strait, as a source of clean water, transportation, as well as food and an economy from freshwater fish.

The Musi River and its watershed, covering an area of about 3 million hectares in the form of peat swamps, is a "paradise" for fish. Fish is the main source of protein for people in South Sumatra.

People who catch fish live a prosperous life. They not only sell fresh fish, they also sell fish that is processed into smoked fish, salted fish, fermented fish, and crackers.

Over the past 30 years, most of the peat swamps have been damaged by logging activities, large-scale plantations, mineral mining, as well as infrastructure and industrial development.

As a result, many peat swamps have become land for plantations and infrastructure, which burn almost every year. The Musi River and its children are polluted with sewage. Several types of freshwater fish are lost.

At its peak, fish populations continue to decline, causing people to lose income, natural protein sources, culinary traditions, and other social problems.

The government overcomes this with peat restoration programs, fish ponds, and agricultural development.

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