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Jakarta Post

Natuna’s fisherfolk wade in shallow waters to avoid the ripples of conflict

  • Fadli and Dian Septiari

    The Jakarta Post

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Batam/Jakarta   /   Tue, January 7, 2020   /  08:47 pm
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Chinese coast guard ship 3303 passes the Imam Bonjol 383 warship as the Indonesian Navy pursues the Han Tan Cou fishing vessel entering Indonesia's Natuna waters on June 17. The Navy caught the China-flagged boat suspected of illegal fishing in Indonesian waters.(Antara/Photo Courtesy of The Navy's Western Region Fleet Command (Koarmabar))

For the past week, local fishermen who usually operate in the Natuna islands have kept their activities much closer to the coastline, avoiding their usual fishing grounds. Natuna Regent Hamid Rizal said the situation at sea had grown increasingly dangerous for the fishermen because of perceived escalating tensions between Indonesia and China. “There is also the strong weather that has discouraged fishermen from going too far out at sea,” Hamid told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday. As a result, many of the Natuna fishermen who would usually cast their nets 100 nautical miles from land have ventured only 20 nautical miles from the coastline. “Our fishermen still go out to sea but not as far as they are used to — because of the warships that are now on standby in those areas. There have also been strong winds,” he said. Indonesia and China have been ...