MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, YOGYAKARTA – Anwar Abbas, Chairman of Muhammadiyah, has drawn attention to the concerning plight of Indonesia’s fishermen, highlighting the urgency of improving their living conditions. The fishing profession, once a mainstay for many, now grapples with pervasive poverty that has sapped its allure.
According to the 2021 Statistics of Marine and Coastal Resources, the number of fishermen in Indonesia plummeted by 330,000 individuals between 2010 and 2019. By the close of 2022, the Ministry of Home Affairs reported a starkly diminished community, with just 1.27 million fishermen remaining.
Addressing this crisis at a forum for fishermen, hosted by the Muhammadiyah Council for Community Empowerment (MPM) on Saturday, October 14, Anwar Abbas attributed these woes to the government’s failure to support this demographic and other low-income communities.
Anwar Abbas also criticized the lack of affirmative action via consistent public policies, pointing out a significant bias in favor of larger capital entities and higher-income groups. To address the issues, the MPM established JALAMU (Muhammadiyah Fisherman Association).
“Muhammadiyah, through the MPM, believes unity among fishermen is key to advancing their welfare, and invites Indonesian fishermen to join hands,” said Anwar Abbas in the forum in which the former Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of Indonesia (2014-2019) Susi Pudjiastuti became a keynote speaker.
Anwar Abbas expected the MPM to control the government’s policy on fishermen critically and constructively and to provide solutions.