"Strengthening of the US dollar benefits our fishermen members, as we export all of the caught fish to foreign countries," Chairman of KUD Untung Jayanto in Cilacap, Central Java, stated on Saturday (Sept. 8)
He said that until August 2018, the total production in eight Fish Auction Places (TPI) managed by the cooperatives reached 4.8 million kilograms (kg), with a value of Rp44.6 billion, and in August 2018 alone, it had reached Rp16.7 billion.
This is in the face of the peak season, as the new fish harvest starts on an average during the August-October period.
Hence, the total production value is targeted to reach Rp100 billion by the end of the year, or increase as compared to last year`s Rp75.2 billion in 2017.
"Basically, fishermen are not negatively affected by the rise in the dollar value, and even when the monetary crisis took place in 1998, the price of shrimp rose from Rp10 thousand per kg to Rp120 thousand per kg. Now, the price hikes are almost the same," he pointed out.
This is because 90 percent of the fish caught in Cilacap is exported abroad, such as to China, South Korea, and Japan.
He noted that the price of small shrimp, for instance, in the last few days had increased from Rp30 thousand to Rp150 thousand per kg, while the price of "jerbung" shrimp had reached Rp200 thousand per kg.
Minosaroyo KUD has around 8,446 Cilacap fishermen members in 10 villages.
It is one of the cooperatives that has successfully become the manager of eight TPIs for fish auction in the Cilacap region, with the total business volume in 2017 reaching Rp221.719 billion.
Reporting by Hanni Sofia