Perspectives

Shredded Fish Floss: Crossing the Works of Limalas Women

Anjelina Mjam
Anjelina Mjam Head of the South Raja Ampat Dew Cooperative Shredded Group. © YKAN

“Natural resources that are managed properly and sustainably will provide benefits, not only for the environment but also for the community”

- Anjelina Mjam

Kampung Limalas—which is located in East Misool District, Raja Ampat, West Papua—has an important role to play in maintaining the preservation of the marine conservation area in this region. If there are activities that damage the waters, such as fishing by bombing and anaesthetics, it will affect the preservation of the biodiversity in the conservation area.

The mothers in Limalas Village have proven that when the waters are maintained, it is not impossible to be able to enjoy the results of sustainable use. Surrounded by rich natural resources, the people of Limalas have long been known as a producer of coconut oil and organic gardening. However, since 2015, the women who are members of the South Raja Ampat Embun Cooperative have worked to develop fish floss.

It all started with the desire of housewives in Limalas Village to maximize the use of natural resources and the results of their community's livelihoods. Supporting this aspiration, in April 2015, members of the Embun Cooperative group made study visits with women's groups in Makassar and Bantaeng, South Sulawesi, in order to increase their capacity in developing shredded fish floss processed products.

Produksi Abon
Shredded Fish Floss Production The Embun Cooperative group is currently processing shredded mackerel and giant trevally. © Nugroho Arif Prabowo/YKAN
Produksi Abon
Shredded Fish Floss Production The Embun Cooperative group is currently processing shredded mackerel and giant trevally. © Nugroho Arif Prabowo/YKAN
Shredded Fish Floss Production The Embun Cooperative group is currently processing shredded mackerel and giant trevally. © Nugroho Arif Prabowo/YKAN
Shredded Fish Floss Production The Embun Cooperative group is currently processing shredded mackerel and giant trevally. © Nugroho Arif Prabowo/YKAN

Shredded Fish Floss is well known and loved by many Indonesian people. Processed floss from its raw materials, such as fish, not only adds flavor, but also increases the selling power of the product.

Armed with information from this experience, they work hand in hand to process fish catches into shredded fish floss products. Mackerel and Trevally were chosen as raw materials for shredded fish floss because they are the most caught fish in Misool waters and have a texture that is suitable for shredded ingredients.

The business model of shredded fish floss production for the women of Kampung Limalas follows the principle of sustainability. Apart from maximizing the utilization of each catch, this group will only use the raw materials obtained wisely. Together with the Embun Cooperative, this group declared nine agreements that support nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. One of the agreements emphasizes that raw materials for fishery products must be obtained using environmentally friendly and non-destructive tools.

Not only preserving nature, the shredded fish floss production also provides economic benefits to local communities. "This fish floss processing activity is very helpful in increasing the economic potential of the people here," said Anjelina Mjam, Chair of the South Raja Ampat Embun Cooperative Shredded Group.

Head of the South Raja Ampat Embun Cooperative Shredded Fish Floss Group.
Anjelina Mjam Head of the South Raja Ampat Embun Cooperative Shredded Fish Floss Group. © Nugroho Arif Prabowo/YKAN

Through the creations of the Mothers in Limalas Village, the benefits of fish catches are not only maximized, but also an effort to protect the area around them, through productive and sustainable economic activities. The spirit of these inspiring women has succeeded in marrying the preservation of nature and economic prosperity for the sake of future generations.