This story excerpt was translated from bahasa Indonesia. To read the original story in full, visit Kompas.com. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.
MEDAN — The destruction of mangrove forests on the east coast of North Sumatra is a nightmare for traditional fishermen.
Abdul Hamid, the community leader in Paluh Sibaji Village, said the process of fishing has changed greatly.
In the 1980s, fishermen could go to sea one day and the results were for one week. But now it is the opposite.
Fishermen are very likely to be at sea for up to a week and the results obtained are not much. In addition, it is not uncommon for fishermen to go into debt to go to sea and pay their debts when they return to land.
"That's the same as going to sea for a week to live for one day. That's how difficult it is now," he said.
The catch is greatly reduced. In the past, traditional fishermen in Pantai Labu could easily catch fish. Bringing only makeshift tools, the catch was abundant.
"It used to be easy to get two boxes (of fish). It doesn't take long. After that, we could laze around and relax because the proceeds could last a week," he said.
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