Indonesia fishermen to suffer more under Asean Economic Community

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Fishermen arrive at Bali’s fishing village in Jimbaran with a fresh catch of tuna on May 10, 2009. AFP PHOTO/SONNY TUMBELAKA

Antara | 16 September 2014

Indonesia fishermen to suffer more under Asean Economic Community

Jakarta (ANTARA News) — Indonesian fishermen will suffer more when the ASEAN Economic Community is implemented in 2015, an environmentalist organization Walhi said.

Under the present condition, Indonesia should not be too quick to commit itself to ASEAN free market, an official of Walhi Edo Rakhman said here on Monday.

With the level of welfare is still below the average, it would be difficult for Indonesian fishermen to compete in ASEAN free market, Edo said.

You could not expected to stand a competition in a free market when you still have problem in feeding your family, he said.

He criticized the government privatization policy allowing control of coastal areas by both domestic and foreign investors.

Not to mention illegal fishing, which is still rampant in the countrys waters with no effective law enforcement, he said.

He said the Law No. 1 of 2014, which is an amendment to the Law No. 27 of 2007, on the management of coastal areas and small islands even opens wider opportunity for investors to take control of sea, coastal areas and small islands.

The law will open the possibility of around 6,000 uninhabited Indonesian islands to be privatized, he said, adding there were a number of companies keen on taking over 20 small islands in Indonesia.

He said control by corporate bodies of coastal areas would result in coastal communities losing their livelihood.

Overlapping policies over coastal areas and sea territories also would worsen the condition, triggering conflicts, he said.

He cited communal protests against the operation of iron sand mining companies in coastal areas of Bengkulu, Lampung, Banten, West Java , Central Java and Yogyakarta.

How could the fisherman to compete at the level of ASEAN when they have lost their fishing grounds grabbed by corporate bodies? he queried.

Earlier, Director General of Processing and Marketing of Fishery Products at the Marine and Fishery Ministry Saut Hutagalung said there were 8,000 officers to explain AEC to fishermen.

He said the management of marine resources to be socialized to the fishermen is based on the concept of blue economy which is marked with sustainability and environmentally being friendly.

Illegal fishing gears must be abandoned as the essence of the concept to blue economy is sustainability, he said.

(AS)

source: Antara