Who Are The Fishermen?

When you hear a word of the fisherman, what comes to your mind? Are people looking for fish in the sea? if so, you should revise it. Because fishermen don’t just go to sea. According to KPPI, a fishermen is a profession with a cycle of work that involves men and women starting from preparation, catching or cultivation to processing catch or processing crops in coastal areas and waters including rivers, lakes and seas. In various regions in Indonesia, KPPI found that there are many jobs in the work cycle of fishermen.

Shellfish peeler workers are fishermen. Ibu Suntiah and other women in the Tanjung Mas Coast of Semarang, Central Java, are green calms peelers. They are paid around Rp 5.000 per kilogram. On average they spend 4-5 hours per day working as fisherfolk. The peeled clams are then processed into processed shellfish and some of them are distributed to the market and finally arrive on our dining table. Shellfish peeler women are fisherwomen who ensure that the protein of the Indonesian people is met.

picture : Suntiah, KPPI Semarang

Salted fish makers are fishermen. One of the productive jobs of fisherwomen is making salted fish. On the coast of Nambangan (Surabaya), Kampung Kurnia (Medan), and Branta Pesisir (Pamekasan) about 95-97% of salted fish workers are women, either as laborers or processing salted fish independently. How to salt fish? Firstly, The fish caught are cleaned, then salted, the next step is fileted (dibebeti) and dried in the jerebeng (board). Female workers are paid Rp. 13,000 per board. This activity is carried out from 2 to 9 in the morning.

Salt Farmers are also Fishermen.Besides being a basic need for every household in Indonesia, salt is also needed by the industry. As much as 84% of salt production is used by industry. On the coast of Jerowaru, East Lombok and Dewantara, North Aceh, about 60-65% of salt farmers are women. The women worked as salt carriers, loading salt in sacks and repairing the curing of salt water.

Pemindang is also a fisherman. Tumbras is a 65-year-old fisherman from Kaliayamin Poman street, Indramayu district. Since 15 years old, She has been a Pemindang. Although not all fish can be pindang she is skilled at processing various types of fish into a pindang fish. 

The pemindang process is carried out in the traditional way. Fish that have been caught and washed. Then given spices such as salt, turmeric, lemongrass and bay leaves. Then the fish are arranged in a pan. At the top of each sap or layer of fish is sprinkled with straw (rice stalks left over from harvest) and given enough water. After that the fish is boiled until tender. The total process of making this fish pindang takes 9 hours.

Every day, together with her husband, Tumbras makes pindang fish and earns around IDR 500,000. Pindang fish is not only a way to get the distinctive taste of fish pindang, but it is a skill in how to preserve fish. It is a traditional knowledge that is passed down from one generation to the next in fishing communities in Indonesia as well as in Southeast Asia.

Shrimp Paste makers are also fishermen. Mak Kumaida is a traditional shrimp paste maker from the village of Banyuurip, Ujungpangkah, Gresik. For more than 3 years, Kumaida has been making shrimp paste based on shrimp heads. Previously, she was a shellfish peeler with a salary of Rp. 5,000 per kilogram.

The shrimp paste is made by washing the shrimp heads and then drying them in the sun for at least 5 hours. Next, the dried shrimp will be pounded until smooth and evenly with a pestle and mortar until it forms a paste. A day he can make 1 kilogram of shrimp paste with a selling price of Rp 50.000.

Shrimp paste has been known as one of the flavoring dishes since ancient times. Historically, shrimp paste is known for being used as a tribute by Prince Wadirectsang. As the king of Cirebon at that time who was under the rule of the Sunda Galuh Kingdom (East Sunda Kingdom). Terasi is not only known by the people of Indonesia. At the international level, apart from being known as fermented shrimp paste which is too pungent by some international chefs, Indonesian shrimp paste is known to have superior taste so that it has its own market. For example, shrimp paste from Riau, about 90 tons of shrimp paste exported to various countries.

Most terasi makers are women. In Jerowaru of East Lombok district, Tanjung Mas of Semarang district and Ujungpangkah of Gresik district, 70-90% of the terasi makers are women, both home industries and manufacturers.