On last Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, Lake Matano in Sorowako, East Luwu regency, South Sulawesi, was jam-packed with people attending a social event “BSA Cup 2012” held by sponsors of PT Bahana Selaras Alam, Sorowako Diving Club and PT Vale Indonesia, along with other communities. This event has programs related with conserving the Lake’s endemic species. In the event, people can register to join the spearfishing, fishing and cooking contests.
Takdim, chairman of the event committee, explained the idea of this event is to campaign the need to save and care for Lake Matano endemic fish. “Meanwhile, the contests are about catching the non-endemic fish in the Lake as a symbol of our fight against the population of non-endemic in the Lake as due to its dreadful impact,” he said.
|Spearfishing and fishing participants on the boat|
|Mostly women take over the fun cook competition|
As 8th world deepest lake, tectonic Lake Matano possesses one of kind species that scientifically proved are threatened species: butini fish, several unique and glowing shrimps and Telmaherina fish.
Lake Matano is part of Malili Lakes which the locals believe the different condition in the Lake environment has occurred in the past years due to the mining industry and rapidly growth human population in the village. The natural excessive of fresh water supply has also been locals’ main source of economy. And this contributed to the non-endemic fish to be thrown out and bred into the Lake, such as Mozambique tilapia, Lou Han or Flowerhorn, Catfish, Nile tilapia, Pleco and Oscar.
Lake scientist Dr. Ir Fadly Tantu who was the speaker of the event elaborated that those outsider fish are potential to be invasive fish in the Lake.
"Their existence in the Lake becomes a competitor of food consuming, carriers of disease, predators of origin fish, hybridization that can damage genetic resources, and changing the aquatic ecosystems by changing species composition, population and the food chain," said the lecturer at the Agriculture and Fisheries Faculty of the Tadulako University, Palu.
This event was considered a great first step for other social events following. Hopefully all society elements, not only the company and community; but also the locals and government, can realize and start doing some actions to save the environment – especially the rarely found ones just like in Lake Matano.
Wouldn’t it be shame on us if we don’t let our children see how beautiful the deepest lake in Indonesia is?
*all photos courtesy by Amelia Winnie and Levin Hidayat.