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Shrimp Farmers Move from Mangroves to Ocean

by the Fish Site Editor
19 December 2008, at 12:00am

INDONESIA - The rapid expansion of traditional shrimp farms in Lampung has not only damaged mangrove swamps but forced local fishermen to seek their catch in the open sea due to the scarcity of fish along the coastline.

"Since the coast is now teeming with shrimp farms, it is difficult to find fish because they have migrated to the open ocean. Lampung Bay is also full of chemical waste dumped by the traditional shrimp farmers. We have to sail out to the Indian Ocean and face large waves,"Sukarja, a fisherman from Punduh Pidada, told TheJakartaPost.

According to TheJakartaPost, another problem facing fishermen is an increasing need for fuel due to the greater distances they must travel.

"Diesel is costly. Many fishermen have shifted professions and become laborers and pedicab drivers. If we force ourselves to find fish, we incur losses because our earnings cannot match operational costs. Hundreds of fishermen have stopped going out to sea and shifted jobs," said Sukarja.

Besides the growing number of shrimp farms along the coast, the Lampung Bay area has been reclaimed in the past five years to make way for a city development project on the waterfront.

the Fish Site Editor

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