TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Marine Spatial Management Acting Director-General at the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, Pamuji Lestari, said Selayar Islands Regency of South Sulawesi has potential marine tourism sites due to its underwater treasures or existing valuable objects from sunken vessels (BMKT).
He said the ministry thus supported the tourism development by providing facilities such as compressors.
“The community will be involved in preserving and using them as objects of marine tourism, such as diving and snorkeling,” said Lestari on Tuesday, August 24.
One compressor unit was given to the local marine conservation and tourism community, Tanadoang Marine. The compressor worth Rp96.19 million can be used to fill diving tubes to support marine tourism development.
Tanadoang Marine chairman Andi Ridha Nur Afdal said his side is committed to using it to support tourism activities in the water conservation area in Pasi Gusung Island, Bontolebang Village. “We also hope the coral reef rehabilitation program will later be carried out in our area,” he added.
The ministry’s Director of Maritime Services Miftahul Huda, meanwhile, hoped that the aid could be beneficial to attract tourists to visit Pasi Gusung Island where anchors and cannons suspected to be part of the sunken ship belonging to the Dutch East-India Company Walvis were found. The ship was detained and sunk in the Selayar Islands on January 7, 1663.
“We hope that the young generation of Selayar Islands can protect the sea for livelihood through marine tourism,” he said.