Socio-economics Status and Adaptations of Purse Seine Fishermen in Bali Coastal Village, Indonesia  

Achmad Zamroni
Research Center for Marine and Fisheries Socio Economics, Ministry for Marine and Fisheries, Indonesia
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Marine Science, 2015, Vol. 5, No. 20   doi: 10.5376/ijms.2015.05.0020
Received: 07 Jan., 2015    Accepted: 27 Feb., 2015    Published: 25 Mar., 2015
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Zamroni, A. 2015, Socio-economics status and adaptations of purse seine fishermen in Bali coastal village, Indonesia, International Journal of Marine Science, Vol.5, No.20 1-16 (doi: 10.5376/ijms.2015.05.0020)


The Bali Strait of Indonesia has been experienced in "fish crisis" that negatively affected the economic conditions of small scale fishing communities living surrounding the region. This study aimed to analyze the socio-economic conditions of fishermen and their adaptation strategies to address these “crisis”. The study also investigated the existing fishery management policies and has identified the problems in controlling and managing fisheries in the Bali Strait. Primary data were collected from 30 fishermen using structured and semi-structured questionnaires. Secondary data, such as statistical data and reports from previous studies, were used as preliminary information. The data were analyzed by using descriptive analysis, comparative analysis and qualitative contents analysis. The results of the study showed that the income among fishermen is highly variable. Although fishermen have part-time jobs outside of fisheries during the time of ‘fish crisis’, their incomes decreased approximately 36.43% particularly during the lean season of the year. The results showed that fisheries management did not contribute to the sustainable fishery resource base and benefiting fishermen primarily in these two provinces. The results indicate that the joint agreements between the two provinces of East Java and Bali over the last 33 years did not effectively support to the management of fisheries in Bali Strait. In addition, law enforcement against violations is perceived as one of the main factor for poor fisheries management in Bali Strait.

Purse seine fishery; Resource depletion; Fisheries management; Sardinella lemuru (SL); Bali Strait

The nutrient-rich marine waters of the Bali Strait provide 70% of the total Indonesian production of the economically-important Bali sardinella or Sardinella lemuru Bleeker. The fishisthe main capture fisheries product in the Jembrana District on Bali Island. The production of S. lemuru has been highly fluctuating and unpredictable in the last 35 years (1974-2009) as it is affected by the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) oceanic event. Catch data show that the lowest landed production was 5,000 tons in one year with the highest production at 80,000 tons in another year with an annual average of approximately 35,000 tons (Jaya, 2011).
Most of the coastal communities on Bali Island (e.g., Pengambengan) and East Java (e.g., Muncar) derived their main income from fishery resources. However, production has decreased drastically from 2010 to mid-2011 and so, purse seine boats no longer operate because the fish became depleted from the waters of the Bali Strait. Consequently, fishermen, boat owners, boat captains and crews, fish traders and fish processors relying heavily on these Bali Strait resources ceased operations.
The once flourishing fishing industry of the Bali Strait has attracted the attention of many researchers since 1971 who conducted various studies related to fish biology, fisheries management, fishery acoustic surveys, fish catch, and fish population dynamics and socio-economics. As a result, purse seine fisheries in the Bali Strait have been regulated by a joint governors’ decree (JGD) between the governors of the Provinces of East Java and Bali which has since been amended four times. Based on the decrees no. 238/1992 and 674/1992, the purse seine vessel quota for the Bali region and the East Java region has been established at 83 and 190 units, respectively. However, it has been shown that the number of purse seine fishing vessels catching S. lemuru that landed in the Pengambengan Fishery Nusantara Port (PFNP) has exceeded the number established by the decree . Previous studies have recommended that fishing in the Bali Strait should be controlled by regulating the fishing net mesh size and reducing the number of purse seine vessels. Currently, it has been difficult to implement the JGD issued by the governors of both provinces.
During 2000-2004, there were opportunistic migrant fishermen from outside the Bali Strait zone, such as Tuban (another district in East Java), who fished using purse seine gear in these rich waters. Johnson and Michael (1990) mentioned economic and occupational opportunities as among the main reasons for migrating to other coastal areas. The situation reached critical level when fishing gear and boats went out of control and affected the status of the S. lemuru stocks in the fishing grounds.
Purse seine gear operated with double boats employing advanced technology and requiring a large capital investment operated in the Bali Strait, signaling the death kneel of the Bali sardinella fishery there. This advanced fishing vessel and gear became popular in Pengambengan with S. lemuru as major fish target. By 2008, the number of S. lemuru continued to decline and seemed to have completely disappeared from the waters of the Bali Strait, resulting to the nearly total cessation of associated economic activities. This situation upset not only the actual fishing community but also sent negative economic repercussions up the supply chain including small and medium enterprises such as fish canneries and those dealing with boiled fish in Pengembangan. The local fishermen were left to wonder as to when S. lemuru would return to Bali Strait.
The “fish crisis” in the Bali Strait appears to continue over time and there is an urgent call for more serious efforts to solve the problem. It was emphasized by Roughgarden and Fraser (1996) that the collapse of resources, such as fisheries, can eventually lead to an ecologically unstable and costly management scheme. The situation in Bali Strait is inching closer to such a bleak scenario each day. Based on these reasons, this study had several aims: (1) to explore socio-economic conditions of fishermen and their adaptation strategy during their economic crisis, (2) to identify the problems on fish resources management of Bali Strait and (3) to evaluate the fisheries management policyfor Bali Strait management.
1 Materials and Methods
1.1 Research location
This study was conducted in the Pengembengan village, Negara sub-district, Jembrana district in the province of Bali, located at 08°23'46" S and 114°34'47" E with a land area of 10.30 km2 and situated 0-125 m above sea level (Figure 1). The population is estimated at 10,251 comprising 3,208 family units with a population density of 995 per km2 and an average of 3 people per family unit. Altogether, 34% (3,490) of the total population works in the field of fisheries, whereas others work on farms, plantations, trade, industry, government, etc (Table 1). Pengambengan village borders with Tegal Badeng village (N), Perancak village (E), Tegal Badeng village (W) and Bali Strait (S) (BPS Jembrana District, 2010b).

Figure1 A map of Pengambengan village, Jembrana District

Table 1 The population, density and family units in the coastal village of the Negara sub district, 2010

This village was chosen because it is directly affected and among the hardest hit by the changing fishery industry in the Bali Strait. Moreover, Muncar and Pengembengan are major landing sites for fishermen using purse seine with S. lemuru as their main catch.
The Jembrana district consists of 5 sub-districts: Melaya sub-district (197.19 km2), Negara sub-district (126.50 km2), Jembrana sub-district (93.97 km2), Mendoyo sub-district (294.49 km2) and Pekutatan sub-district (129.65 km2). The total area is ​​841.80 km2 with a population density of 310.81/km2. The Negara sub-district is the most densely populated at 615/km2. The number of family units is 72.710 with an average of 3 to 4 people per family unit. During 2000-2010, the annual rate of population growth in Jembrana was 1.22%. The district is located between 8°09'30"- 8°28'02" S and 114°25'53"- 114°56'38" E. Buleleng is on the north, the Indonesian Ocean is on the south, the Bali Strait is on the west and the Tabanan Regency is on the east (BPS Jembrana District, 2010a). The Jembrana district has jurisdiction over approximately 604.24 km2 of marine area and is responsible for the implementation of fishery and marine conservation laws there.
Pengambengan is the major site for S. lemuru fishery in the Jembrana district and has the densest population of fishermen that divided into three types namely; a) Full time fishermen, b) part time major fishermen and c) part time minor fishermen (Figure 8). Therefore, the interview survey focused in this village. Fishing activity in Pengambengan fishing port was dominated by purse seine gear (PS) followed by others collectively termed non-purse seine gear (NPS) for the purpose of this study. The boats landing at Pengambengan fishing port consists of powered-boat (PB) and non-powered-boat (NPB) (Figure 4).
1.2 Data collection
Data were collected using a socio-economic survey method during 2012. Interviews with the fishermen were performed using structured and semi-structured questionnaires. This study is focused on the purse seine fishery as it dominated more than 50% of the fishery activity in Bali Strait. The other consideration being the purse seine fishery is the most significantly affected by the decline of fish resources in the area. The respondents were identified from among the crews of purse seine vessels, boat owners, processing company, captain or fishing master and fish traders. This study involved 30 respondents: thirteen purse seine boat crews, two captains, two engineers, four haul porters, three fishing masters, three merchants and three boat owners. Interviews were also conducted with the staffs of three selected processing companies in Pengambengan village. The questions and issues addressed were related to the following main topics: the costs of purse seine fishery, the responses of fishermen, purse seine boat’s owners, traders and processors regarding the “crisis” condition; and the role of women or fishermen’s wives during the “crisis”.
Secondary data were also collected in this study, including statistical data and the results of previous studies, which provided preliminary information. Statistical data below 2010 were obtained from fish production figures in the Pengambengan Nusantara Fishery Port (PNFP).
1.3 Data analysis
The data were analyzed by using descriptive analysis and qualitative contents analysis. Descriptive analysis was used to describe the profile structure of the fishermen and other industry players and their adaptation strategies to changing fisheries’ activities. Content analyses were used to study possible policy amendments for Bali Strait fishery management, where the policy has several times been amended by the leaders of Bali Province and East Java Province.
2 Results
2.1 Current status of the resources in the Bali Strait
Fishing activity for S. lemuru in the Bali Strait has developed rapidly after purse seine fishing technology was introduced in 1974 to the fishermen in the Bali Strait particularly to the fishermen of Banyuwangi (Java side) and Pengambengan (Bali side) (Mertha et al. 2000). S. lemuruis the dominant species caught in Pengambengan, while other species were also caught including the fringed scale or fimbriated sardine (Sardinella fimbriata), scads, Indo-Pacific mackerel, pony slipmouth fishes, eastern little buds, hair tails, and little buds (Table 2).

Table 2 Some species of fish caught in the Bali Strait

The S. lemuru
production in the Bali Strait is divided into three areas: the Badung district (Bali), Jembrana district (Bali) and Muncar district (East Java). During 1999-2004, the Jembrana and Muncar districts were the biggest producers of S. lemuru with an average production of 49% (13,576.91 tons) and 47% (13,099.65 tons), respectively, of the total catch in Indonesia. However, S. lemuru production in the Bali Strait fluctuates annually, particularly in the Jembrana District (Figure 2).

Figure2 The production trend of SL and the fishing trip in Pengambengan, Jembrana District, Bali

Fishing activity in the Bali Strait is a multi-species and multi-gear activity. For instance, S. lemuru are caught using multi-fishing gear; therefore, one gear can catch more than one type of fish. Some fishing gears used in the Bali Strait include the purse seine, payang, beach seine, gill net and bagan. According to Mertha (2000), S. lemuru catch can conveniently be divided into 3 groups according to their size: total length (TL) <5 cm (sempenit), TL 5-12 cm (protolan) and TL>12 cm (kucing).
Open-access and common property are characteristics of the ocean that require special measures for regulated access (Costanza, 1999). The fishing ground in the Bali Strait is divided between the East Java (on the western fringes) and Bali region (on the eas
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