Sat, 25 Jan 2003

Only 30 percent fishermen go to sea

TANGERANG: About 70 percent of Tangerang's 1,672 fishing boats are being put to sea with fishermen claiming the cost of diesel has impacted on profits, despite the recent diesel price reduction.

Diesel, which costs Rp 1,550 in December last year was increased to Rp 1,890 on Jan. 1 but reduced to Rp 1,650 (about 19 US cents) per liter last week.

"Only about 500 fishing boats out of 1,672 are operating, because the income from fishing still cannot offset the cost of the fuel," Tangerang regent spokesman Maman Soetoyo SP told Antara Friday.

To improve the fishermen's welfare, the regency administration planned to diversify towards manufacturing food processing fish products.

He said the administration was seeking the best solution to improve the welfare of the fishermen. --JP