A fisherman's group has demanded that the Jakarta administration repair the environmental damage done to Jakarta Bay by reclamation projects.
Members of the group claim that the reclamation project has significantly disrupted their activities, thereby drastically reducing their earnings.
Indonesian Traditional Fishermen's Association (KNTI) secretary-general Kuat Wibisono said on Tuesday that the bay needed to be rehabilitated to allow fishermen to continue catching fish normally.
"We want the administration to rehabilitate the environment as soon as possible. It also needs to revoke all reclamation permits," Kuat told journalists during a press conference at the offices of Jakarta Legal Aid (LBH) on Tuesday.
Dozens of KNTI members had gathered at the LBH Jakarta offices to express support for the central government’s decision to temporarily halt reclamation work in Jakarta Bay. The decision was made at a meeting on Monday attended by Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya and Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Rizal Ramli.
According to Kuat, security guards employed by firms developing reclaimed islets have taken to patrolling a circumference 200 to 300 meters around the projects, blocking any fishermen who approach.
"They force us to stay away from the islets,” said Kuat, adding that guards often threatened fishermen with violence.
The fishermen brought fish and fishing equipment with them to the LBH Jakarta offices on Tuesday. The fish, they said, were caught in Jakarta Bay, refuting Ahok's claims that the body of water is too polluted to support fishermen's livelihoods.
"What would [Ahok] say if we showed him that Jakarta Bay is still full of fish?" asked Saifuddin, though acknowledging that his catch had been reduced as a result of the reclamation. (bbn)
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