The Return of Seaweed to the Sea of Nusa Penida

The Return of Seaweed to the Sea of Nusa Penida

Nusa Penida Island has tons of potential on seaweed farming even before tourism sector expansion. Unfortunately, from all region of Nusa Penida, seaweed production only concentrated on one location, namely Dusun Semaya. The problem of seaweed becomes more complicated as the vast development of Nusa Penida at the moment. Hotel and restaurant waste pollutes the sea around the island, damaging the sea quality as a trade off from tourism sector. Not to mention the decline on the quality of seaweeds itself, making them very unattractive to develop. The degradation causes a decrease in the quality of production so that the selling price becomes relatively cheap, only 2.500 rupiah per kilogram ($ 0.18). With this situation, people tend to reluctant to continue seaweed farming and switch to a more promising sector. Finally, the potential of seaweed wasted in 2015. Based on the Klungkung Regency report in Figures from the BPS, seaweed production in Nusa Penida in 2015 reached 106 thousand tons, this number dropped very significantly to 597 tons in 2017, or around 99.4%. Although in the end production increased in 2018 to double, the problem of seaweed should receive more attention in terms of a more concrete work program.

The complexity of the seaweed issue in Nusa Penida is also at the same time becomes an important point in the program for Sustainable Development and Community Economic Independence and Ecosystem Preservation through the Seaweed Sector. This program is part of Ekologic Nusa Penida which is a collaboration of various NGOs under the Wisnu Foundation as a core institution. The institution who is responsible for this program is Kalimajari Foundation. The Kalimajari Foundation team tested 700 kg of red Alvarezii seaweed seeds from Lembongan Island. The trial has not shown promising results due to differences in water conditions in Lembongan and Nusa Penida. The seeds planted did not grow optimally so most farmers lost money and preferred to sell the remaining seeds. Types of seaweed seeds that are suitable for planting in the waters of Dusun Semaya are Spinosum and Cottoni Sakul. Based on the results of the trials that have been carried out, there are several solutions from Kalimajari Foundation. One of them is the purchase of Alvarezii seeds as a backup when the Sakul seeds are not growing optimally, and vice versa. This aims to keep production stable. In addition, it is necessary to make demonstration plots for new types of seeds in Nusa Lembongan.

In addition to the complex production process, post-harvest activities are also a vital aspect that must be considered. So far, farmers in Dusun Semaya have made seaweed-based products such as soap, scrubs, noodles, and syrup. This post-harvest training is also a program that has been carried out by Kalimajari Foundation. From this point, a new problem arises, the community has not been able to market these products optimally. On the other hand, the type of product does not match consumer demand. Soap, for example, hotels in Nusa Penida need liquid soap instead of bar soap. One solution is to use the marketplace and technology to find markets. The community can also apply for a PIRT (Household Food Industry) permit to ensure the continuity of production and is also a requirement to be deposited in a minimarket or supermarket. It is expected that with this solution, the seaweed industry in Nusa Penida will develop and provide added value so that it can improve the welfare of the community.

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