Medan, March 25, 2022 – Utilizing competitive and sustainable water resources is one of the goals of fisheries cultivation. To support the local economy of fishermen in Lake Toba waters, both in terms of food supply and livelihood, Regal Springs Indonesia conducted the sowing of 100,000 fish seeds in the surrounding areas of Lake Toba. The sowing took place in the areas of Lontung, Pangambatan, and Silmalombu, as well as in Sirungkungon, Toba Regency, North Sumatra, on Friday (3/25).
The restocking program, involving the addition of fish fry to Lake Toba waters, has become a routine agenda for the company, carried out three times a year. “This program is one of the implementation programs of our KAMI PEDULI (We Care) initiative, specifically under the Lake & Water Access pillar,” said Dian Octavia, Head of Sustainability & Community at Regal Springs Indonesia.
Dian added that besides supporting food security, economic growth, and assisting local fishermen, this program is also one of the company’s efforts to support the Lake Toba ecosystem. “The company hopes to contribute to maintaining a balanced aquatic ecosystem while providing additional economic value for the local community and fishermen,” Dian further explained.
Representing the Head of the Samosir Regency Food Security and Agriculture Agency, Brosdiana Sinaga, the Head of the Fisheries Department of Samosir Regency, expressed support and appreciation for the initiative taken by Regal Springs Indonesia. “This restocking activity greatly helps the fishing activities in Lake Toba waters. With an increased fish population, the productivity of fishermen’s catch will also increase, thereby improving economic value. Our hope is that activities like this can be carried out again in the future,” Brosdiana explained.
Meanwhile, Kaban Ketapang Manulang, the Head of the Toba Regency Food Security and Fisheries Agency, emphasized the importance of contributions from all parties in preserving biodiversity, including fish resources. “Currently, the presence of red devil fish (Amphilophus labiatus) in Lake Toba waters has become a concern for local fishermen. The catch of commercial fish is decreasing day by day. Prior to the red devil fish, a fisherman could catch up to five kilograms of fish. When sold, they could earn up to IDR 125,000 per day, which was sufficient for their daily needs. However, currently, fishermen can only catch one to two kilograms of fish per day,” Kaban explained.
He acknowledged that various efforts are still being made to generate economic value from red devil fish. “We must save the livelihood of fishermen. For the time being, we can increase competition in the water. Currently, the existing fish breeders can no longer produce fry. Therefore, we need to create our own fish seeds, and restocking is one of the ways to achieve that,” Kaban revealed.
Kaban also expressed hope that the sown fish seeds will promote the welfare of the community, as well as the sustainability of the ecosystem in Lake Toba.
The tilapia fish seed sowing activity was also attended by Andri Pandapotan Limbong, the Head of the Fisheries Department of Samosir Regency, and Abner Tarigan from the Environmental Agency of North Sumatra Province.
Regal Springs has been implementing the restocking program in the vicinity of its business unit for the past few years. From 2019 to 2021, over 450,000 tilapia fish seeds were sown in Toba Regency and Samosir Regency. In 2021, an additional 500,000 fish seeds were provided to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (UMKM), fish farmers, and fisheries cultivation groups in Serdang Bedagai Regency.
Tilapia fish is one of the high-nutrition protein sources and a key export commodity for Indonesia. According to data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), Indonesia is the world’s second-largest producer of tilapia fish. In 2020, Indonesia exported 12.29 thousand tons of tilapia fish, valued at USD 78.44 million. Meanwhile, in the same year, tilapia fish production from Lake Toba reached 80,941, contributing up to 90% of the total tilapia fish export value.