TheIndonesia.id - Traditional fishermen in Mukomuko, Bengkulu, reportedly managed to shoo away five fishing trawlers from West Sumatra operating in the regency’s territorial waters, local fisheries office has confirmed.
Official from Mukomuko fisheries office Warsiman said local and traditional fishermen decided to force the five fishing vessels to leave the waters because they used trawl nets that were seen as a threat to traditional fishing practice and equipment.
“The traditional fishers decided to take action against the five boats because they used trawl,” Warsiman confirmed on Wednesday, August 31, as reported by Antara.
The trawlers reportedly damaged the fish aggregation device (FADs) used by local fishermen to catch fish in the area.
Warsiman said there was tension when the confrontation took place, but it did not further escalated. Afterward, fishers from Air Haji, West Sumatra, stopped their fishing activities and left the waters.
Local fisheries watch community also reported the operation of fishing trawlers in Mokumoku waters to Bengkulu marine and fisheries office, who was also asked to carry out patrol and monitoring.
Warsiman lastly said his office will coordinate with the provincial agency to prevent fish theft in its territory and warned traditional fishermen to not resort to anarchy when they encounter fishing trawlers in their waters.
The use of trawl and seine nets has become an issue for traditional fishermen in different provinces across Indonesia.
Last week, Bintan local government in the province of Riau Islands established a new task force that will monitor the use of trawl and seine nets within its territorial waters in a bid to protect traditional fishermen.
Acting Bintan regent Robby Kurniawan said following reports and complaints from local and traditional fishers about the use of trawl and seine nets that affects their catch, local government decided to create the task force.
“Traditional fishers complain about the two fishing gears that have been frequently used in Bintan waters recently,” Kurniawan said on August 25.
According to local fishers, there are dozens of fishing boats that use trawls and seines in less than 12 nautical miles from shore.
The use of the two gears caused catches by traditional fishers to drastically decline because both trawl and seine nets reach the sea floor and catch all biotas, including coral reefs.
“Meanwhile, our traditional fishers still use traditional equipment like bubu [trap cage], and it can’t compete with boats that use trawl and seine nets,” representative of Bintan traditional fishers Yadi said.