Cablegate: Manado's Traditional Fishermen and Fish Stocks Face Numerous
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJS #0116 3370613
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 030613Z DEC 09
FM AMCONSUL SURABAYA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0500
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 0490
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0192
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0224
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHJS/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 0513
UNCLAS SURABAYA 000116
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIS SENV PGOV SOCI ID
SUBJECT: MANADO'S TRADITIONAL FISHERMEN AND FISH STOCKS FACE NUMEROUS
REF: SURABAYA 111 (FISHERY LAW THREATENS MALUKU TRADITIONS)
1. Representatives from the local NGO KELOLA and the North
Sulawesi Traditional Fisherman Association (ANTRA) are trying to
raise awareness about threats to the livelihood of traditional
fishermen in North Sulawesi. Local fishermen established ANTRA,
with a current membership of 1500, earlier this year to
facilitate a coordinated response to threats from overfishing,
development, pollution, and industry.
2. The most disturbing threat to traditional fishermen and their
livelihood is the decrease in the overall totals of fish caught.
The size of the fish caught has also dramatically decreased in
the last five years. Traditional fishermen blame pollution,
overfishing by commercial fishermen, and illegal fishing for the
decrease in the number of total fish. The figure for 2008 was
around 139,000 tons of fish caught, down nearly 50% from the
2007 total of 272,000 tons of fish caught. Garbage from the
city of Manado and pollution are also factors in the decrease in
fish size of fish, as the fish are not as healthy as before.
3. In the city of Manado, fisherman are concerned about access
to coastal areas after the local government built new shopping
and office centers along the coast. They claim the developer of
these commercial centers did not fulfill a promise to build
docking areas along the development's edge for local fisherman.
Similarly, in North Minahasa, traditional fisherman lost their
access to fishing grounds due to the developing sand mining
industry. Local fishermen lose all dock access whenever sand
mining activities occur.
4. While Bunaken National Park brings significant tourist
dollars and prestige to North Sulawesi, local fishermen complain
that Bunaken's "fish catching zones," which are regulated by the
National Park Administrator, limits their livelihood.
Traditional fishermen, who usually have limited schooling, lack
education about the rules and are often charged with crimes for
violating the Park's regulations. ANTRA members want more
education and explanations about the regulations and rules which
apply to traditional fisherman.
5. More distant islands feel increasing pressure from large
commercial fishing vessels operating in Indonesian waters.
Antara complain that illegal fishing by Philippine, South
Korean, and Thai commercial fishing vessels are severely harming
the traditional fishing industry. In addition to the mounting
external pressures facing the traditional fisherman, the
remoteness of the islands, with limited access to markets, fuel,
and supplies, continues to undermine the commercial viability of
traditional fishing methods. The remote location also affects
the ability of Indonesian Navy and police to properly patrol the
waters in this area.