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Issue No.61
  • :0973-1156
  • :August
  • :2020

Yemaya Newsletter on Gender and Fisheries, Issue No. 61, August 2020


Yielding ground

Changing land use patterns threaten the livelihood of female crab collectors in Merauke, Papua, Indonesia

By Ria Fitriana (, Independent Consultant, Coastal and Marine Resource Management, Jakarta, Indonesia, and Maria Kurupat ( Gender Empowerment Activist, Merauke, Papua, Indonesia

Over the years, crab collection in mangrove and wetland forests has been a major source of income for women of the indigenous Asmat and Mappi communities of the island of Papua in Indonesia. These women harvest crab along the coastal areas of the Maro River, the main river of Merauke District, which is located in the southern part of Papua in the land of the Marind peoples. The Marind form a majority group and hold traditional claim of ownership over the land in Merauke, including the banks of Maro River. Apart from the Marind, other ethnic groups such as Bovendigul, Mappi and Asmat also live in the area and have ha anim rights to access resources for subsistence living. Ha anim rights accrue from a collective agreement among certain indigenous c