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Jakarta Post

Pandemic, omnibus bill may harm small-scale fishing

  • A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, May 12 2020   /  01:05 am

While their livelihoods have already been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, the country’s small-scale fisherfolk could also face difficulties as a result of the omnibus bill on job creation, which may put them in unfair competition with larger fishing outfits.

Madina, 47, a fisherman for over two decades in Cilincing, North Jakarta, said that 2020 had, so far, been the hardest year to make ends meet.

The period from March to May is typically a productive season for fishing, even for fishermen with small vessels like himself.

Yet Madina has not been able to find markets or wholesalers willing to buy his catch at normal prices over the past few months, given that many businesses — like restaurants — are suffering financially as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Madina said he used to be able to sell various fish at around Rp 18,000 (US$1.20) per kilogram...