Wed, 04 Jun 2003

Fishermen grounded by strong winds

CILACAP, Central Java: Strong winds have left about 20,000 fishermen in Cilacap unable to work for more than three weeks.

"The strong winds will keep blowing for the next three months, but we have to deal with it during the dry season. It's definitely a hard time for us," said one of the fishermen, Rohmadi.

Many of the fishermen have found temporary work on land rather than risk their lives by going out to sea in the strong winds.

"Even when we force ourselves to go fishing from the shore, we only earn a few rupiah. The operational costs are more than what we earn," Rohmadi said.

To feed their families, most of the fishermen have had to sell their belongings, including television sets, jewelry and motorcycles, said another fisherman, Sudiman. -- JP