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Indonesian fishers plead with president on seine nets and other assistance by Falahi Mubarok May 11,2021   |  Source: Mongabay

President Joko Widodo met with fishermen in East Java last week for a discussion on fishing gear policy, infrastructure and how the COVID-19 pandemic had affected their business.

After inspecting the fish on display at a market at Brondong National Fisheries Port, Jokowi, as the president is popularly known, and his entourage of local officials and the minister of fisheries went out to the docks, where they were met by a throng of fishermen who yelled greetings in Javanese, his native language.

Many of the fishermen previously used seine nets, known locally as cantrang, and wanted to obtain permits to resume using the devices in the wake of the lifting of a ban on their use, Agus Mulyono, chairman of the local chapter of the All Indonesian Fishermen’s Association (HNSI), said at the event.

The ban on seine nets, which are highly effective, if indiscriminate, tools for sweeping up large amounts of fish, was lifted last November partly on the grounds that it was difficult to enforce, the fisheries ministry said at the time, adding that permits would only be issued to boats already using the nets.

The fishermen were ready to pay taxes on their use of the nets, Agus added.

Some fishermen complained about silting at the port preventing boats from docking at low tide,


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