Fishermen on the Brink of Extinction; A Story | WWF Indonesia

Fishermen on the Brink of Extinction; A Story



Posted on 30 November 2016   |  
fishermen catch fish
© Brent Stirton / Getty Images / WWF
Author: Muhammad Fahmi (Koordinator Marine Buddies Makassar)
Translated By: Ahmad Shadiqi
“In my village, fishermen tend to abandon fishing in order to be ojek drivers or construction workers. It’s not that the they don’t want to fish using eco-friendly equipment, they just cannot afford to pay the irresponsible authorities who keep asking for extortion,” said Fahri from Lingkungan Hidup Daerah (BLHD/Living Environment Body), South Sulawesi Province.

Aiming at educating the people to be more selective in choosing and consuming sea products which are not only beneficial for them, but also eco-friendly, Jaring Nusantara conducted a discussion themed After =noon Coffee Discussion: Fishermen on the Brink of Extinction on Saturday, November 26th, 2016 in Kedai Kopi Keiko, Perintis Kemerdekaan, Makassar.

Since 13.00, the participants had been gathering. Coming from different backgrounds, college students, highschooler, the shop’s customers, and lecturers from Universitas Hassanudin joined the discussion. Before the discussion, Idham Malik, Jaring Nusantara’s representative, opened the event with an introduction to Jaring Nusantara, and he continued with a video of Eco-friendly fishery, capture and management from Fish n’ Blue as well as a video of guides to #BeliYangBaik from WWF-Indonesia. Afterwards, the discussion moderator, Muhammad Fahmi, as the Coordinator of Makassar’s Marine Buddies, assisted the audience on the gist of discussion and introduced the speakers consisting of academicians, maritime anthropology practitioners, and the government – BLHD South Sulawesi Province.

During the discussion some facts and opinions from the practitioners and environmental observers were revealed, especially those concerning the fishermen’s condition in South Sulawesi. Different from what Fahri explained previously, Dr. Syaifuddin Yusuf S.T. M.Si, a lecturer of marine and fisheries, Universitas Hassanudin and an observer of fishermen’s livelihood, explained about the existence of massive and uncontrollable illegal fishing in South Sulawesi.

According to him, in the last 10 to 20 years, the fishermen couldn’t refuse but to set sail, go fishing, and depend on sea products due to their financial condition. Sea products are still intact and consumable. Even those which are no longer intact still have their demand in the market. Nevertheless, the rent cost for fishing equipment is increasing so fishermen have to think twice before deciding to set sail.

On the same tone, Muhammad Neil S.Sos, M. Si, as a Maritime Anthropologist, explained that there is a change of fishing location in Spermonde area, especially in some minute islands in Makassar and the outermost island of Pangkep Regency. Parts of fish consumed by the locals of Makassar are no longer caught in the respective area. Even, a fisherman from Jeneponto Regency was caught by the Australian sea police after straying too far to find fish to meet the market demand. Behind the story, it is revealed that the role of the fihsermen’s wives is crucial to fulfill their daily needs.

“The fishermen’s wives are really smart nowadays. They have their own tricks so their husbands decide to set sail. They keep their staff and staple in low amount so they run out quickly. This is because the fishermen are reluctant to set sail if their staff and staple are still in “ready stock”, added Syaifuddin. At the end of the discussion, Darwan, as the committee promised to conduct the discussion regularly with different themes and concepts.
fishermen catch fish
© Brent Stirton / Getty Images / WWF Enlarge
Atmosphere discussion of illegal fishing
© Muhammad Fahmi/WWF-Indonesia Enlarge

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