Searching for a livelihood: the dilemma of small-boat fishermen in Eastern Indonesia

This chapter examines the situation of small boat fishermen in eastern Indonesia, a large number of whom are now engaged in illegal shark fishing in Australia waters. The paper looks at: 1) the historical background to current developments; 2) the general shift from trochus and trepang gathering to sharkfishing that occurred in the 1990’s; 3) the rapid increase in the market for shark and the variety of shark that are currently targeted; 4) differences among the four ports along the southern rim of eastern Indonesia from which most of these fishermen sail; 5) the various local networks connected to these different ports and variety of strategies and technologies that have been and are being developed by fishermen from these areas.


Fox, J.J., Adhuri, D.S., Therik, T., Canegie, M. (2009)
p. 201-225. In: Resosudarmo, B.P. ; Jotzo, F. (eds.) Working with nature against poverty: development, resources and the environment in Eastern Indonesia. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore. [open access]