Indonesians Hack into Beached Whales in Mass Stranding

Indonesians Hack into Beached Whales in Mass Stranding
October 02, 2012

savuLocals on a remote island in eastern Indonesia on Tuesday cut up several dead pilot whales for food after a mass stranding that killed at least 41 of the mammals, an official said.

A total of 44 pilot whales beached themselves late Monday on the island of Savu in East Nusa Tenggara province, where there is a culture of whale hunting for consumption.

“Locals have hacked into around 11 whales so far and will probably use the flesh for meat,” Savu fishery office chief Dominggus Widu Hau told AFP.

“When local fishermen found them before midnight, they were all still alive. But it was already late and there were not enough people to help push them back in.”

More than a dozen fishermen, navy and police officers were still struggling Tuesday afternoon to keep the three surviving whales alive.

“We managed to push them back into the water, but they returned to the beach,” Hau said.

Jakarta Animal Aid Network identified the mammals, which lay stranded around 150 meters (492 feet) from the coastline, as pilot whales. Those beached were between two and five meters long, Hau said.

Pilot whales commonly become stranded en masse since they stick together in large groups, especially if one is sick, according to marine biologists.

Agence France-Presse

Sumba, E. Sumba gets ready to expand its cattle industry

East Sumba gets ready to expand its cattle industry

Yemris Fointuna, The Jakarta Post, Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara | Archipelago | Tue, July 03 2012

East Sumba regency in East Nusa Tenggara is preparing a total of 400,000 hectares of land across 140 karbauvillages to expand its cattle breeding industry.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is scheduled to visit Maubokul village on Wednesday. The village is set to become one of the cattle breeding centers in the regency.

“The cattle breeding area in Maubokul village reaches 10,000 hectares with vast plains that are very suitable for this industry,” East Sumba Regent Gidion Mbilijora said over the telephone on Tuesday.

According to Gidion, cattle population in Sumba Island has decrease drastically to some 100,000 cattle, from its initial number of around 300,000.

“Livestock populations like cows, horses and buffalo are decreasing. We hope the President’s visit on Wednesday becomes a motivation to make the cattle industry a seeded sector in Sumba,” Gidion said.

The cattle population has decreased in 21 regencies and cities in East Nusa Tenggara. The provincial statistics agency said the number of cattle in the province was 700,000 in 2011, decreasing from 800,000 registrations in 2006. The decreasing number of cattle had affected local beef supply.

The decrease was a result of the movement of female cows and buffalos to other islands to slaughtered and consumed.

Since 2010, the East Nusa Tenggara administration has declared itself a “livestock province”. The declaration was meant to return the province to its heyday as one of the country’s main suppliers of livestock.

East Nusa Tenggara had 1.5 million cattle in 1997, the highest nationwide.

“The number of cows and buffalos in the area keeps decreasing year by year because of the loose supervision system of cattle movements to other provinces to meet the national beef demand,” East Nusa Tenggara Vice Governor Esthon Foenay said on Tuesday.

Esthon hoped that the public could manage the livestock market by not selling calves in the future.

“With our ‘one citizen, one cattle’ program, we are looking forward to achieving a figure of 4 million cattle within the next five to 10 years, surpassing Australia with the highest number of cattle,” Esthon said.

Yudhoyono is also scheduled to visit SMP Negeri Pandawai, a local junior high school, to have a discussion with the students. “The president will also look into services in local community health centers (Puskesmas),” Esthon said.