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  • Jana Broto

Photo journal of Tulamben & Amed

The Liberty Shipwreck, a popular dive attraction in Tulamben ©Mutsumi Fujioka

This photo was taken at the Liberty Shipwreck site, at the depth of 25 meters. The narrow scars on this jellyfish are caused by fish bites. This type of jellyfish, often sighted in January and February, does not attack people, but because they are poisonous, touching them can cause a potentially fatal skin infection.

The bumphead parrotfish can be found in Tulamben in the morning. The fish has strong teeth, though not as sharp as those of the tigerfish. The bumphead parrotfish begin their hunt for food after sunrise so that they can see coral reefs—their food—clearly. They will smack their heads against a coral reef so that it shatters and can then be consumed. The bumphead parrotfish is a favorite among morning divers, especially at the Liberty Shipwreck dive site

Big waves as well as inexperienced divers stepping on corals are two of the many factors that cause coral reef damage. Mama Dive Shop in Amed organizes a reef-planting activity every year, performed by its employees. A variety of fish species has found its home in the reefs planted by the dive shop. To rehabilitate damaged coral reefs, other dive shops can participate in routine reef-planting activities and provide their divers with information on how to dive responsibly.

Despite the already booming tourism along its coast, Amed’s rural landscapes have yet to reach their full potential for tourism. Visitors, for example, should be able to trek villages while observing the villagers’ activities and enjoying the rural scenery, waterfall, and the ocean from high up. Unfortunately an inadequate infrastructure network hampers Amed’s many potentials. Building decent roads at tourism sites and routes leading to residential areas should be prioritized in the village’s development.

Tourism in Amed is rapidly growing, but beneath the surface many Amed residents are still living in poverty. Training, in making handicrafts for example, can be given to those in need so that they can also reap the benefits of tourism in their region.

Like many Tulamben residents, Nengah Dayuh produces “Bali sugar” or palm sugar in order to fulfill her daily needs. The sugar is made of traditional ingredients such as fresh tuak (traditional alcoholic beverage), vinegar, and cashew stalk, which she harvests from her own land. The traditional process produces unique-tasting, very sweet sugar that can last a long time even without the use of chemical additives. In one day, Nengah Dayuh can produce four to seven kroso (vessel made from dried frond leaves) of palm sugar. One kroso of palm sugar is around one kilogram and is usually sold at the price of Rp12,000.

In order to improve their welfare, the people in Nengah Dayuh’s village believe that they still need guidance and financial assistance so that they can take part in the creative industry, such as making handicrafts or special souvenirs in Tulamben.

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