THE WATERS: JAVAS BLUE REVOLUTION is an award-winning 25-minute
video on aquaculture (fish-farming) in the reservoirs of Indonesia as
a successful resettlement option for populations displaced by the water
of large hydroelectric dams. Directed, photographed and edited by David
L. Brown, the video documents how aquaculture in reservoirs in West
Java, Indonesia produce over 10,000 tons of fish per year, improving
the lives of thousands and creating numerous direct and indirect opportunities
for rural people in improverished areas.
FARMING THE WATERS
tells the story of how a simple idea, growing fish in floating cages
in hydropower reservoirs, could point the way towards developing a
major new global food resource as well as helping to address the social
and environmental problems created by dams. Produced and written by
marine biologist, Barry Costa-Pierce, the video focuses on the Saguling
and Cirata hydropower projects in West Java which affected the lives
of over 100,000 people, causing serious hardship and social disruption
as many thousands of farms and homes were inundated by water. The
experiment in aquaculture, funded by the Indonesian government and
The World Bank, produced over $10 million worth of fish each year
and employed over 5,000 families.
video profiles several former rice farmers who have developed fish farming
businesses in the floating fish cages, and features interviews with
a variety of aquaculture experts who were involved in developing the
aquaculture program in West Java. Among the issues addressed are the
multiplier effects on the local economy in which it has been estimated
that, for every direct job in fish farming, three jobs have been created
in support industries such as the provision of feeds, fingerlings, supplies,
equipment and transportation. The annual income from fish in the reservoirs
has been estimated to exceed by over eight times the income lost from
rice paddies flooded by the dams.
interviewed in the video, however, emphasize that aquaculture is not
a magic bullet that will solve all the problems of involutary resettlement
from hydropower dams. At Saguling and Cirata, most of the displaced
persons are not owners of the cages but are employed as workers; there
are problems with water quality from lake turnovers and untreated industrial
pollution; and there are questions
about the long-term sustainability of such feedlot types of cage aquaculture.
In the two projects described in the video, not all of the villagers
were included in the fisheries programs nor have all participants been
successful. However, more and better jobs are available in a rural area
of severe underemployment, and the reservoirs have brought tangible
benefits to many of the people they most directly affected.
While capturing the unique beauty of West Java, FARMING THE WATERS includes
footage of the complete cycle of aquaculture: from raising the fingerlings,
to building the floating cages, to raising the fish in the cages, to
distributing the fish to markets throughout the area, to restaurants
where the fish is prepared and served.
FARMING THE WATERS
for the World Bank.
Directed, Photographed and Edited by David L. Brown
Written and Produced by Barry Costa-Pierce
Co-written by Stephen Most
Production Manager/Sound: Page Nelson
Winner: CINE Golden Eagle
FARMING THE WATERS has been screened in a dozen countries including:
The University of Indonesia; the International Center for Living Aquatic
Management in the Phillipines; the Asian Institute of Technology in
Thailand; the United Nations Environmental Programme; the United Nations
Development Programme in Malaysia and India; The World Bank headquarters;
The Asian Development Bank; UNESCO; UNU, Japan; The University of
California, Irvine, San Diego and Berkeley; University of Rhode Island;
University of New Hampshire; and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.