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Indonesian fishers who fought off tin miners prepare to battle all over again by Nopri Ismi, translated by Basten Gokkon August 07,2020   |  Source: Mongabay

Fishers in Sumatra have joined forces in opposition to a government plan to allow coastal mining that they say will destroy their fisheries.

The government of Bangka Belitung province, a group of islands off the southeastern coast of Sumatra, recently approved a zoning plan that designates the southern subdistrict of Toboali as open to tourism, capture fisheries, and tin mining.

“How could tourism and fisheries stand together in one area with tin mining?” Joni Juhri, chief of the Batu Perahu Fishers Association, told Mongabay in late July. “It’d be a sore sight if a tourist site had tin mining as a view. In addition, imagine the impacts to the fishers. We’ve opposed this for a long time.”

Mining for tin has long been the leading industry in Bangka Belitung province, which produces 90% of Indonesia’s tin. (The company that would go on to become BHP Billiton, the world’s second-biggest miner, started out mining tin in Belitung and was named after it.) The province is a key hub in the global trade of tin, which is used in alloys, conductors and, recently, as solder in consumer electronics, such as smartphones.

But the mining has proven deadly to the workers and the marine ecosystem. The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), the country’s

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