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Indonesia’s new deregulation law to hurt small fishers, coastal communities by Basten Gokkon October 15,2020   |  Source: Mongabay

When Indonesian lawmakers passed a hugely controversial deregulation bill on the evening of Oct. 5, Sulaiman was with his fellow fishermen who had just returned home from the Java Sea.

Sulaiman was dreading the decision that could change his life and those of 800,000 small fishers across Indonesia. Before the passage of the new legislation — known as the omnibus law but formally the Job Creation Act — small fishers were defined by the state as being those with boats of smaller than 10 gross tonnage (GT). That came with certain benefits, including being allowed to operate without a permit, free enrollment in the national health care program, access to fishing gear, and fuel subsidies.

With the passage of the omnibus law, however, the definition of small fishers has been discarded — one of more than 1,100 articles from 75 existing laws that have been overhauled in the government’s deregulation drive. For Sulaiman and his peers, that means the benefits and subsidies channeled toward poor often artisanal fishers will now be open to all, including the operators of large fleets.

“With the implementation of the Job Creation Act in Indonesia, small and traditional fishers will be the first that stand to lose,” Sulaiman told Mongabay on Oct. 13.

Mongabay has

 

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