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© Kal Muller, 2004. (Bahasa Indonesia)

01. Of all crustacea, the most valuable in the Timika area is the mangrove crab, Scylla olivaceous. A very similar species, S. serrata, is found in other mangrove areas. Current market demand in Timika could mean that these crabs are over-hrvested and could lead to population collapse. For a while these crabs were shipped by air to Singapore but this has now stopped.

02. see caption 01.

03. The Jumbo or Tiger Prawn (also: Leader or Panda Prawn), Penaeus monodon, lives in the mangroves for part of its life-cycle. Along with the similar, large Banana Prawn, P. merguiensis, these are the Timika area's main commercial species, trawled by shrimp boats using bottom-scarping nets. These nets wreck havoc with the sea bottom ecology but no measures are taken to stop the practice.

04. The Giant Freshwater Prawn, Macrobranchium rosenbergi, can be found far inland as well as in the seaside mangroves. It is both sold and eaten by the Kamoro, depending on market access. These huge prawns change from a yellow-brown to black when fully mature, but taste delicious regardless of color. Australians call them chaerbin or charabun.

05. see caption 04.

06. see caption 04. Found in fresh waters quite far inland, a boy in Pigapu displays his latest catch (see above).

07. Near-shore crabs include the commercially valuable Blue Manna (also called Blue Swimmer or Sand Crab), Portunus pelagicus, or okomaro in the Kamoro language. Much fewer of these make it to the Timika market than the more common mangrove crabs. It is a well knows species in Australia.

08. This leaf crab, called 'eporo' by the Kamoro, is too small to eat but serves its purpose in life as bait. According to the Freepor Environmental Department, this is a new species to science, temporarily designated as Dorippe sp.

  © Copyright UNIPA - ANU - UNCEN PapuaWeb Project, 2004.

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