Marine Pollution Contributes to Declining Number of Local Fishers: Activist

Diana Mariska
The boats of local fishermen in Lhokseumawe, Aceh. (Photo: ANTARA FOTO/Rahmad)
The boats of local fishermen in Lhokseumawe, Aceh. (Photo: ANTARA FOTO/Rahmad) - The Indonesian Forum for Environment, or Walhi, has recently revealed that marine pollution hasn’t only been creating environmental impacts, but it’s also one of the contributing factors to the declining number of local fishermen in Indonesia.

Walhi’s campaign manager for coastal and marine Parid Ridwanuddin said marine pollution is one of the leading causes of the gradually decreasing Indonesian fishers. According to data from the NGO, since 1999, there has been 43 marine pollution cases in Indonesian waters.

“And these marine pollution cases also drive the decline in the number of fishers,” Ridwanuddin said on Friday, April 29, as reported by Antara.

From 2010 to 2019, he added, the number of Indonesians who worked as fishermen dropped very significantly.

Based on Marine and Coastal Resources Statistic 2021 report, there were 2.16 million of fishermen in Indonesia, but in 2019, there were only 1.83 million of them.

“Among the causes is industrial activities that pollute the sea,” the activist said.

To resolve this issue, Walhi said it’s important for the Indonesian government to take a quick action whenever a marine pollution case is detected or reported. And if not, it’s only inevitable that the number of Indonesian fishers will keep decreasing over time.

“It’s an absolutely frightening trend going forward where our ‘protein heroes’ wouldn’t be able to fish anymore because the ocean is polluted,” Ridwanuddin warned.

In addition, he also emphasized the importance of providing zones for fishermen that are free from industry that creates pollution.

The current practice where capture areas are oftentimes also used for industrial activities makes Indonesian fishermen the most impacted group, and the mapping of capture zones regulated in a Law could become the answer for the problem.

Tag # indonesian fishermen # indonesian forum for environment # fishing industry # marine pollution

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