It’s one of those stories that you read and wonder what the editor was doing when they edited this story.
Ostensibly its a photo essay story. A few mediocre shots about the mussle farmers of Cilincing, North Jakarta, slap in a few words and one page gone. Pack up and go for a beer.
Bu what a story the Post missed in the few words of this photo essay! In the second last paragraph the author says: “Before the water became contaminated with industrial waste, local fishermen could collect up to 1,000 buckets of mussels in one day. Today, they can only collect about 30 buckets. ”
Hang on. Isn’t there a story here about how these guys are harvesting mussles from contaminated waters and selling it to unwary consumers in Jakarta? Do the health authorities have nothing to say about it? Can’t the reporter get a sample of the mussles and subject it to testing for toxins and heavy metals?
Imagine what a story it can be if the results of the test are postitive.
But The Post being The Post, nothing wil probably be done about this. So keep away from the mussles.
Here’s the Cilincing story from today’s paper:
Many people in town may love to eat mussels, but only few of them know where they come from. Among the places that supply these clams, Cilincing in North Jakarta must be high on the list.
For many people in Cilincing, mussels have become a source of income. The people in that area, from kids to adult, make money by transporting and cleaning up these shellfish. The men go to sea to harvest the bivalves while the women and the kids clean up the mollusks from the shells.
Mussels cultivation has become a profession. With an initial investment of Rp5 million to Rp10 million, local people can start their own mussel business. Usually, they can harvest the mussels once every four months. Before the water became contaminated with industrial waste, local fishermen could collect up to 1,000 buckets of mussels in one day. Today, they can only collect about 30 buckets.
Equipped with hand-made diving devices, the fishermen dive around three to seven- meters deep under the water.
They sell the mussels to vendors for Rp 3,000 to Rp 6,000 per bucket.