Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Some 10 percent of the budget from the Indonesian Marine and Fisheries Ministry in 2016 will be allocated to benefit the fishermen in numerous regions across the country, stated Marine and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti.

"We have a plan to allocate 70 percent of the budget for improving the livelihood of fishermen in numerous regions across the country next year," Pudjiastuti said in a press release made available to Antara here on Friday.

The minister noted that the traditional fishermen struggled to make a living due to depleted fish stocks, lack of equipment, and poor supply chain, and so, the budget will be allocated to help ease their burden.

Earlier, the Indonesian Traditional Fishermens Association (KNTI) had stated that the fishermens activities in several regions were still hampered by problems related to the availability of fuel oil for fishing in the nations waters.

"Difficulties were still encountered in the supply of fuel oil for the traditional fishermen, and thus, it prevented them from fishing in the nations waters," KNTI Chief of Legal Affairs Marthin Hadiwinata remarked here on Thursday.

He pointed out that Tarakan in North Kalimantan and Tanjungbalai in North Sumatra are among the several regions where the fishermen faced difficulties in obtaining fuel oil for fishing.

According to Hadiwinata, fuel oil in Tarakan and Tanjungbalai costs Rp7.5 thousand per liter and is available in limited supply.

Hadiwinata noted that the national fishing fleet majorly comprised small-scale fishermen having boats weighing no more than five gross tonnage, whereas they contributed 80 percent to meeting the nations protein requirements.

"But, unfortunately, until today, the traditional fishermen still buy fuel at a price higher than that set by the government," Hadiwinata affirmed.

In the meantime, Abdul Halim, the secretary general of the Peoples Coalition for Fishery Justice (Kiara), stated that the fishermens largest production cost is linked to the high cost of fuel to venture into the sea.

"The largest production cost incurred by the fishermen is their access to energy sources, such as fuel oil," Halim noted.

He stated that if the problems related to energy access can be solved completely, then the cost of other items, such as fishing nets will be reduced.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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