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Sea offering ceremony held in Central Java to show gratitude
October 10th, 2017 | 12:34 PM | 875 views
The People’s Coalition for Fisheries Justice (KIARA), together with the Forum of Central Java Fishermen (FJNT) and the Association of Indonesia’s Fisherwomen (PPNI), on Sunday held a sea offering ritual, or sedekah laut, at Bandungharjo village in Jepara, Central Java.
The ritual is an annual ceremony held by locals living around Java’s northern coastal areas who depend on the sea for their livelihoods. This year’s ritual, themed “Taking care of the sea to take care of life,” brought together more than 150 fishermen.
“The sea offering is a ritual to remind us of the importance of the balance of nature. As many as 10,666 villages in this coastal area depend on fish as a source of food. Unfortunately, coastal communities are struggling to cope with the continuous decline of their fishing spaces,” KIARA secretary general Susan Herawati said in a statement on Monday.
KIARA has identified at least nine challenges faced by Central Java fishermen caused by policies issued by the government that have failed to protect and empower them.
As an example, Herawati said the land reclamation in the Tapak coastal area in Semarang, Central Java, had made it more difficult for the locals to catch fish. The construction of coal-fired power plants (PLTU) in Batang, Jepara, and Cilacap has added to the list of problems.
“All such challenges in the end have marginalized the locals,” she emphasized. (msa/ebf)
courtesy of THE JAKARTA POST
by NEWS DESK
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