Thursday, April 14, 2005


Shipwreck Hunters to Provide 1,000 Boats for Aceh


Big News Network
April 12, 2005

Jakarta, Indonesia-Relief - A groups of French and Indonesian has launched a project to help Aceh fishermen restore their life. Called as '1000 Bateaux Pour L'Indonesia' or 1,000 boats for Indonesia, the project will provide 1,000 fishing boats for fishermen in Meulaboh, West Aceh district. According to the project coordinator Pascal Kainic, they already got support from French Embassy in Indonesia as well as Indonesian Ministry of Fisheries and Ocean.

Kanic told Indonesia-Relief that the project would be coordinate through Laut Nusantara, a new foundation established to help tsunami survivor. In general, the foundation established as non-profit organization aims to promote interest and knowledge of Indonesia's sea archipelago. ''La Guilde Européene du Raid, a French charity, will also fund the projects,'' said Kanic, owner of Jakarta based Ocean Research Limited, a company dealing with historical shipwreck recoveries, auction of artifacts and various sea resources trading.

Laut Nusantara will build fiberglass boat with 14-16 meter long. The 'mini length liner' will endure long enough, up to 30 years, compared to traditional boat with only, in average, live span of 5 years. Fiberglass boat had also some additional advantages, such as lighter, faster, and consumes less fuel. The boat is also possible to store more fish, as fiberglass boat construction are 'more roomy'. And the most important reason is it will prevent mass logging of Aceh forest.

Laut Nusantara already secure 3.000 meters land in Pasir Pinang village to setup a 'boat factory'' that capable to produce 1 fiberglass boat per week. In its early phase, Laut Nusantara planned to build 100 boats, which will cost up to 150.000 euros. Dozen villagers will be trained to become fiberglass boat builder. On the next phase, the factory will be expanded and double its capacity to produce another 500 hundreds boat and so on.

Not just providing the boats, in cooperation with Bina Swadaya, Laut Nusantara will establish fisheries cooperative. The cooperative will manage the boat factory and setup supporting facilities such as fish market, cold storage, and fuel station. Based on Bina Swadaya expertise in micro-credit, the cooperative will also provide financial scheme for the fishermen to expand their fisheries business. Laut Nusantara will provide start up capital as revolving fund.


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