Surmount the Marine Debris Crisis, 60 Banyuwangi Fishermen Join the Fishing For Litter Program

Banyuwangi, September 7, 2021 – The unresolved marine debris crisis has made Indonesia the second largest waste producer in the world. Indonesia produces around 64 million tons of plastic waste every year. Indonesia’s oceans receive 3.2 million tons of plastic waste each year that cannot be managed. Thus far, Indonesia’s marine debris crisis still threatens the sustainability of people’s lives and the environment. The impact of unmanaged marine plastic waste has certainly been felt immediately. Microplastics have been found in the consumption of mineral water and seafood. Based on research conducted by the Ecoton research institute in 2020, 100 liters of Kenjeran to Tambak Wedi ocean in east Surabaya contains 195–598 microplastic particles. The plastic waste that we throw away now returns to our dining table.

Fishing For Litter Solution to Marine Litter Problems in Dusun Pancer

Realizing the dangers caused by plastic waste in the ocean, EcoRanger from the Greeneration Foundation together with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Indonesia and the European Union presented the Fishing For Litter program to tackle Indonesian marine plastic waste by empowering 60 fishermen from Dusun Pancer, Banyuwangi as the key actors of change. This project initiates fishermen to collect marine waste at the dropping point, then they will be managed responsibly by EcoRanger at the Waste Management Center (SEKOLA).

The Importance of the Role of Fishermen as Agents of Change

Enhancing the involvement of fishermen is very important because this problem caused a direct impact on the survival of fishermen whom the life are very close to the sea. The purpose of this activity is to reduce marine debris through the concept of responsible and sustainable fishing by developing community development programs and multi-stakeholder cooperation.

(Photo 2. Fisherman Capacity Building/Greeneration Foundation Documentation)

Fishing For Litter Project Series

The Fishing For Litter project will run until March 2022 to gradually change the behavior of fishermen regarding waste management. This project started from a series of activities to increase the capacity of fishermen such as Beach Clean Up, and the inauguration of Fishing For Litter.

Fisherman Capacity Building

The capacity building for fishermen was held at the IPPP Dusun Pancer Office Hall, Banyuwangi on September 3-7, 2021. This activity was attended by 60 local fishermen by following the health protocols set by the Task Force for Handling Covid-19 in Dusun Pancer. In this activity, fishermen get guidance on the problem of plastic waste and its management system. As a provision of knowledge to manage marine waste obtained from fishing activities, Muhamad Muharam from Waste4Change fostered the community to explore problems and plan strategies for actions to collect marine debris. The 60 local fishermen who were fostered could later trigger other fishermen in Dusun Pancer, a total numbering 1,500 people, to carry out a similar action.

Fishermen Form KUB Manage Group Activities

The fishermen also received exposure to the role they will play in the Fishing For Litter activity to handle marine debris. In this Fishing For Litter program, fishermen will not only play a role in collecting marine debris, but they will also play a direct role in forming and managing the Joint Business Group (KUB). As KUB managers, fishermen plan appropriate strategies to collect marine debris and manage members so that they have the same vision and mission. This capacity-building achievement was the fishermen succeeded in forming 6 groups of KUB and drafting an action plan for waste management, including determining targets, operational strategies, and community involvement in waste collection actions.

(Photo3. Beach Clean Up Red Island Beach/ Greeneration Foundation Documentation)

Beach Cleanup To Clean The Beach

Moreover, to increase the capacity of fishermen, EcoRanger also held a Beach cleanup was held at Pulau Merah Beach on September 4 and 11, 2021. This action was carried out to campaign for actions to care for marine debris and commemorate World Cleanup Day. This action was attended by 20 people and succeeded in collecting 36.8 kg of coastal waste from Pulau Merah Beach.

Local Government Support For Fishing For Litter

This series of activities received a positive response from the Head of the Banyuwangi Regency Fisheries Service, Drs. H. Arief Setiawan, MM, and Deputy Regent of Banyuwangi, Sugirah. “We must work together to deal with the waste problem because this cannot be solved alone. To solve this, we must all keep our spirits and never give up on a more prosperous Banyuwangi. We will also try to make KUB from the Fishing For Litter program to be assisted by the Banyuwangi Fisheries Service,” concluded Sugirah.

(Photo 4. Inauguration of Fishing For Litter/Greeneration Foundation Documentation)

The inauguration of this program on 7 September 2021 at the IPPP Dusun Pancer Office Hall, Banyuwangi, is a hope that actions to care for marine sustainability can be expanded and involve more parties such as fishermen whose lives cannot be separated from the sea. This inauguration was fully supported by the Deputy Regent of Banyuwangi, the Banyuwangi Fisheries Service, the Head of Pesanggaran Sub-district, the Head of Sumber Agung Village, and the Head of Dusun Pancer. Fishing For Litter “Action for Indonesian Oceans”.

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