Activists Call for More Support to Small-Scale Fisheries in Indonesia

Diana Mariska
Fisherman in Sua-Sua Village, Simeulue District, Aceh
Fisherman in Sua-Sua Village, Simeulue District, Aceh - Activists and experts urged the government to provide more support to small-scale fisheries by allocating more credits.

National coordinator of the Destructive Fishing Watch (DFW) Indonesia Moh. Abdi Suhufan said small-scale fisheries currently make up to 99 percent of the whole fishery fleet in Indonesia, and they’re among the most vulnerable as their income fluctuates and depends on a number of factors. Therefore, a financing program is crucial to support the continuity of their work.

“Small-scale fishery is very vulnerable to the volatile catch, quality, selling price, weather, and climate change. This group also suffers from a relatively slow growth compared to other subsectors, such as cultivation and processing,” Suhufan said in a statement on Wednesday, December 1, 2021.

DFW also revealed that the absorption of subsidized credit, or locally known as KUR, has been relatively low during the first semester of this year. From the distributed Rp1.71 trillion (US$121.5 million) of loans for fisheries, only 21.5 percent have been absorbed by capture fishery.

Similarly, the credit scheme provided by Fisheries Business Capital Management Institute (LPMUKP) hasn’t created a big impact for small-scale fishers. “From Rp409 billion distributed between 2017 and 2019, only Rp144 billion have been absorbed,” Suhufan added.

According to him, schemes from the two institutions are the main sources for local fishers to access government-sponsored loans. Therefore, he calls for the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries to put more focus into the matter and to reform the complicated process which will affect accessibility.

“The current pattern must change if the Ministry is serious about paying attention to and empowering the small-scale fisheries.”

He said one fisher in Bitung, North Sulawesi, has been waiting for 13 months since applying to get a loan from LPMUKP. Besides asking for more accessibility, DFW called for the government to consider the development of small-scale fisheries a priority as millions of Indonesia continues to rely on this sector.

Tag # fishery # ministry of marine affairs and fisheries # fisherman # capture fishery # fisheries

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