JAKARTA. The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry claims that fishermen catching lobster seeds in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), do not object to switching occupations as recommended by the government.
The ministry’s fish cultivation director general, Slamet Soebjakto, said his officials had been dispatched to fishing villages in Central Lombok and had found that not a single fisherman opposed the idea of finding new work.
“They have all agreed to voluntarily switch occupations from catching lobster seeds to cultivating fish,” said Slamet, speaking after a meeting with NTB Deputy Governor Muhammad Amin in Mataram on Thursday.
Slamet said this year the ministry would allocate Rp 50 billion (US$3.75 million) to help 2,246 families in West, Central and East Lombok switch occupations.
Slamet said the program was an alternative for fishermen affected by Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Regulation (Permen) No 56/2016. The regulation bans the catching of crab and lobster seeds.
He said the ministry, together with the NTB provincial and Lombok regency administrations, introduced the assistance program several months ago
Slamet said through the program, fishermen were given equipment and training, not cash, to cultivate fish or seaweed. Lombok had significant lobster resources that needed to be protected, he added.