Conference of Small Scale Fisherfolks in Central Java Province, Indonesia

The Small Scale Fisherfolks Conference of Central Java Province which was held on September 7 2022, located in Tambakrejo, Semarang City. This conference is a momentum to connect small scale fisherfolks, coastal communities, and fisheries policy stakeholders at the provincial and central levels. A total of 300 participants attended this conference, around 250 fishermen and fisherwomen in Central Java, KNTI administrators in Central Java, as well as the General Chair of the Central Board of KNTI. Responders who attended included members of the Indonesia House of Representative, members of the Regional House of Representaive of Central Java Province, Head of the Central Java Province Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Service, Chairman of the RI Ombudsman Representative for Central Java, Head of Central Java Province DMPTSP Service, Central Java Pertamina, Port State Owned Companies (Pelindo), and other agencies.

The conference began with conveying the aspirations and problems experienced by Small Scale Fisherfolk in the coastal areas of Central Java. There are 7 representatives of fisherfolks and coastal women who are members of KNTI and KPPI Semarang City, Pekalongan City and Demak Regency, each of whom expressed their perspectives.
Some of the issues raised by Fisherfolk in the forum included the clarity of the status of temporary residential land in the Tambakrejo fishing village, Semarang City. Meanwhile, fishermen from Demak and Pekalongan raised the problem of tidal flooding in their area which is getting worse. The need for breakwater infrastructure buildings, silting of river mouths that trigger work accidents for fishermen, fishermen’s insurance, including the issue of discrimination in access to subsidized fuel for small fishermen.

The coastal areas in the cities of Semarang and Demak do have a few breakwaters. This condition increases the risk of Fisherfolk when they are fishing and not a few fishermen risk their lives so they can go to sea. Not only that, the lack of breakwaters also makes the flood enter the settlements of coastal residents. Other issues raised by representatives of the Indonesian Coastal Women’s Union (KPPI) were about the nutritional health of toddlers who catehirized as vulnerable group on stunting, education of Fisherfolk’s children, optimization of coastal processed products, product packaging and product licensing management to marketing.
In the second part of the Fisherfolk’s Meeting, the facilitator opened an auction of solutions to various problems that had been previously presented to all policy makers present. Hopefully, with this solution auction, the problems raised by fishermen received a commitment and concrete solution from the government.
The first opportunity was delivered by the Department of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of Central Java Province that to overcome the silting of the river estuary, the Provincial Government will normalize the river in October or November in Tuntanglama, Demak. The issue of the BBM Recommendation Letter can be collaborated with the post near the fishermen to assist in the management of the Sailing Approval Letter (SPB). A total of 14,455 Central Java fisherman cards which will later be integrated into KKP’s Fishermen’s KUSUKA. This Central Java fisherman card will later be developed by integrating subsidized fuel services, an e-fish auction system (cashless) and licensing documents for small fishermen in one card, namely the Central Java fisherman card.

The Chairperson of the Special Committee for the preparation of the Draft Regional Regulation on Fisherman Protection at the Central Java Provincial DPRD appreciated the activities organized by KNTI as a form of collaborative effort so that fishermen can prosper. Not only accomodating the fishermen’s aspirations, but also accomodating the aspirations of the Indonesian Coastal Women’s Union (KPPI) regarding the economic empowerment of coastal women. Problems that arise will be accommodated and he promised to propose budgeting in the APBD so that fishermen and coastal women’s businesses will get attention.
Meanwhile, other members of Commission B of the Central Java Provincial House of Representatives who were present discussed the issue of the KUSUKA card (fishers card) issued by the Indonesian Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs. He urged the fisherfolk to register themselves for the card in order to get the benefits. Such as to ease the fisherfolk in accessing online transactions, facilitating the access to financing for people’s business loans (KUR) and applying for fishermen’s insurance. At least there is progress for fisherfolks. For KUSUKA, its members can be increased by registering them through the relevant agency, There are so many benefits that fisherfolk can get by registering themselves so it must be done enthusiastically.

At the end of the session, the Indonesian Ombudsman responded that there was a significant improvement by bringing services closer. Small pass matters, for example, issuance of letters of recommendation for the purchase of subsidized fuel for small scale fisherfolks.