REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, SITANDIANG -- The developer guarantee the Batang Toru hydropower plant (PLTA) project in South Tapanuli regency, North Sumatra will not disrupt aquatic animal habitat and ecosystems in the surrounding areas, such as Sipirok and Marancar. According to PT North Sumatra Hydro Energy (NSHE) as the builder of the project, many efforts have been made to conserve animals and water in the project environment.
Chief of Communications and External Affairs PT NSHE Firman Taufick said one of animals that will be preserve is jurung fishes or also known as batak fishes. The fishes had been breeding on Batangtoru river and its existence is quite rare.
However, batak fishesis often consumed by North Sumatra people especially in traditional events because the fishes is considered sacred. In the past, the massive fishing of batak fishes made its existence almost extinct.
Batang Toru hydropower plant has an effort to preserve batak fishes by providing indoor hatcheries and training for farmers. “We are spawning jurung fishes and will spread the fishes in the river and multiply the numbers,” said Firman on Thursday (May 2).
Meanwhile, according to Anton, jurung fishes must be conserved because the fishes has many benefits. Not only because the fishes is sacred, but many people feel the benefits, such as for medicine.
"We are trying to keep jurung fishes sustain because for Bataknese, the fishes is very important and sacred. The benefits are many, such as for medicine and other related myths," Anton explained.
Anton has learned to cultivate Jurung fishes species for 10 years. He had reproduced the fish manually and the success rate was less than 30 percent of the total eggs produced by the parents.
“After working with NSHE, an indoor hatchery and spawning can be built that can succeed 90 percent,” said Anton.
In the future, Anton believed jurung fishes will not extinct. The kind of hush will be cultivated further and elevate the community economy in areas around Batang Toru hydropower plant and overall in South Tapanuli and North Sumatra.
Not only by restocking or releasing jurung fishes seeds into Batangtoru River, the fishes cultivation unit also provides seeds for restocking in the waters of North Sumatra. One of the waters is Lake Toba.