Bali Seaweed for a Living
Nusa Lembongan lies half an hour speed boat from the east coast of Bali. A predominantly Hindu population lives here off seaweed farming and more recently from tourist accommodation. The island is still unspoiled. If you want to experience quieter surroundings, escape Kuta frenzy then come to relax, surf and scuba dive in Nusa Lembongan. Accommodation ranges from US$18 (Rp 200.000) to US$270 (Rp 3.000.000) a night. A 3 star Michelin French chef has opened a restaurant and offers luxury villas accommodation but the local life is still authentic.
The main production of the island is seaweed farming. Indonesia’s production has surpassed the Philippines. In 2012 Indonesia will produce an estimated of 10 millions tons. Dried seaweed from Nusa Lembongan are exported to Bali, then Java and then to the US, Japan and Europe. It will be transformed in food additive, thickeners and jelly for the food and cosmetic industry.
Seaweed farming is an alternative to improve economic conditions and to reduce fishing pressure. Seaweed farming helps to preserve coral reefs by increasing diversity and provides niches for local species of fish and invertebrates.
A local farmer will sell his seaweed for Rp8000 the kg (70 US cents) and can produce up to 1000 kg/ month making $700/month for a whole working family which is a pretty good income considering the basic wage in Bali is $110/month.
When you visit Nusa Lembongan try the delicious seaweed salad in one of the ‘warung” (local restaurant)
How to get there: From Sanur: Rocky speed boats US$45 return, includes pick up from your hotel in Bali and drop off to you accomodation in Nusa Lmbongan http://www.rockyfastcruise.com/
Copyright Jacques Maudy / The Tribe Press Agency
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