The ministerial ban on the use of seine net for catching fish which has been implemented since 2015 has caused long-term polemic. Corresponding to the issue, Department of Fisheries UGM reviews the implementation of the ministerial ban based on academic aspect regarding the seine net’s technical specification, related to regulation on fish catching as well as economic aspect and fisheries resource management.
Secretary of Department of Fisheries UGM, Dr. Eko Setyobudi, said based on the result of discussion by experts from the Department which was held on Monday (22/1), fish catching using seine net had been done by fishermen from 1970s, particularly in North Java coasts. However, if the seine nets meets the standard in the Indonesian National Standard (SNI), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), as well as other regulations, there is no problem in using it because it includes among environmentally friendly category.
However, according to Eko, the development of technology and modernization had encouraged the modification in seine nets, including utilization of motor as a replacement of human force in hauling the catch, the length of the strings, or net size. This is exacerbated by weak law enforcement. “Those make seine net becomes not environmentally friendly,” said Eko during a press conference on Tuesday (23/1).
In addition, Eko said the area that can be reached by seine net becomes wider while selectivity is low. Nationally, the percentage of the number of seine net use is lower than those using other fishing tools, however, the big percentage happens in North Java coasts. “Contribution to fish production in that area is big, too,” he said.
But from social and economic aspects, said Eko, fish catch using seine net whether from target or non-target fish had given big benefits to the fishermen and big or small processing industry. “Currently, seine net has become the main fishing tool for fishermen in North Java coasts which involves many people as well as causing many multiplier effects,” he added.
Therefore, the seine net ban which initially aims for fish resources conservation turned out to give negative impacts towards the fishermen’s economic condition and social unrest in those areas.
Based on these considerations regarding fisheries resources sustainability and socio-economic aspect of seine net fishing, according to Eko, total ban on seine net is not the best option for the current situation. Hence, the important things that have to be done are monitoring and managing the seine net utilization, thus it will meet specification standard, the areas, and operational regulation. “The implementation of regulations have to be based on an in-depth and comprehensive scientific study on technical, environmental, and socio-economic aspects,” said Eko.