Two Indonesian researchers have identified 103 crab (crustacean) species inhabiting mangrove forests in Mimika, Papua. 15 of the crab species found had never been published before.
“The 103 species included two main families, ocypodidae living on the lower shore, close to the estuary, and sesarmitiae living among the roots of mangrove trees,” said Dr Dwi Listyo Rahayu, a marine researcher with the Indonesian Institute of Science (Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia/ LIPI), during the launching of the book Mangrove Estuary Crabs of Mimika Region-Papua, Indonesia, in Jakarta yesterday.
Dwi, who authored the book together with Gesang Setyadi, PT Freeport Indonesia Environmental Department General Superintendent of Environmental Monitoring, said research was conducted since 1999. Research was conducted in the vicinity of the PT Freeport project area.
The research location was 20 km-deep mangrove forests in Mimika, Papua. The location was also a lowland area. “We were drawn to undertake the study of crabs because it had never been done in Indonesia. Previous books were always about crab cultivation,” said the researcher, who graduated from France.
To promulgate the study report, Dwi and Gesang, who once worked for World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), published their research with research centers in Tokyo, Japan; Leiden, the Netherlands; and Australia, as well as in international scientific journals.
“Research on crabs is very closely related to the environment,” said Dwi. Crabs are very closely associated with mangroves. In addition to consuming mangrove leaves that shed, crabs help to enrich soil on which mangroves grow.
Wisnu Susetyo from PT Freeport Indonesia said he was pleased with the launching of the book Mangrove Estuary Crabs of Mimika Region-Papua, Indonesia. “This is the sixth book published by PT Freeport,” he said.
Meanwhile, shrimp as a commodity in South Sulawesi need to to be specifically addressed.
Bank Indonesia, by way of private and government-owned banks has Rp.1.4 trillion to offer credit for agriculture and animal husbandry.