Departmental Reports


Brackishwater Aquaculture Development in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia


Cremer, Michael and B. Duncan

Date: 1979

Funding Agency: USAID

Keywords: indonesia, sumatra, milkfish, aquaculture, development, international, brackishwater

Category: International Country Report

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The government of Indonesia ( GOI )received

assistance in brackishwater aquaculture development

November 1976 to September 1978 through a contract

the U.S. Agency for lnternational Development and

University's International Center for Aquaculture. Contract

AID/ Asia-C-1177 provided funds for resident advisors

equipment to the Directorate General of Fisheries (DCF)

fish culture development and extension in northern

The authors served in Medan, North Sumatra (Bryan L.

Duncan) and Banda Aceh, Aceh (Michael C. Cremer),

November 1, 1976, to September 1, 1978, as advisors to

Brackishwater Fishery Production Project (BFP).

Brackishwater pond culture has been
practiced traditionally

for centuries in Indonesia,
particularly in Java. It was initiated at

least 600 years ago as a mangrove
swamp fishery using traps.

Gradually, the mangrove was removed,
dikes were constructed,

water control structures were installed,
and finally, the custom

established of stocking the ponds with milkfish
and shrimp

juveniles caught at sea.

In 1974, the
DGF estimated that there were approximately

180,000 hectares of brackishwater
ponds in Indonesia, located

mainly along the north coasts of Java,
South Sulawesi, and

Sumatra. Production in these ponds had
reached a plateau with

the use of traditional methods, and new
and more productive

technology was not being adopted.
During the Pelita I

development program (1969-74), the Government
of Indonesia

concentrated efforts to improve
brackishwater pond fisheries,

by using these two steps:

1. Adoption of new brackishwater
methodology, using the

vehicle of a VNDP/FAO project at Jepara,
Central Java, as a

base of operations for field trials.

2. Building of a staff base, through
the use of local universities

and secondary schools, for extending
improved technology t o

existing and potential brackishwater
fish farmers.

In 1974, as an expansion of the brackishwater

effort for Pelita II (1974-79), the DGF
chose Aceh and North

Sumatra provinces to be the first in a
series of project sites where

packages of resources would be brought
to bear in a concerted

effort to increase small farmer income
and brackishwater

fisheries production. The DCF
requested USAlD to appraise the

idea, and in November 1974 H. R. Schmiittou
conducted a

survey of this area. He identified a
high potential for aquaculture as a means to
increase income, increase food production, and

expand employment. In May, June, and
July 1975, a project

development team from the
International Center for

Aquaculture, USAID, and the Government
of Indonesia visited

the area and drafted a detailed
project paper.

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