Cirebon, aktual.com – The measures to curb COVID-19 transmission, from physical distancing, lockdowns and activity restrictions all have consequences on economic activities. One of the many affected communities are fishermen, who saw a significant income drop, including those in Bandengan village of Mundu District, Cirebon Regency, West Java.

According to the Marine Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, most of the fishing activities in Indonesia are dominated by small-scale fishers, with more than 90 percent is coastal fisheries. Such small-scale enterprise plays a key role in providing fishers and locals with livelihood and food security.

Bandengan in Mundu district is a coastal village, and most villagers are fishers. “There are many kinds of fishers here, from those operating big vessels with 10 to 15 crews, and smaller boat owners with only 2 to 3 crews,” explains Nursalim, secretary at Bandengan Fisher Forum.

Bigger vessels are capable of hauling up to 10 tons of catch. The majority of them are anchovies, mackerels, barracudas, among others. Smaller vessels are typically used to catch crabs and could haul up to 100 kilograms of them.

Nursalim says that it is costly for fishers once they sail, commonly to cover fuel, food, and other necessities. Costs may range from 200 to 800 thousand rupiahs a day. Apart from operational costs, fishers must be mindful of vessel seaworthiness, including their coating. Routine coating maintenance is vital to protect vessels from corrosion and mold.

(Zaenal Arifin)