JAKARTA — Hundreds of Indonesian fishers protesting against an offshore tin mining operation in Sumatra have seized a dredging vessel they deemed to be operating within their fishing zone. The development on July 12 is the latest escalation in a standoff simmering since 2015, when fishers in the Bangka-Belitung Islands began opposing mining by state-owned company PT Timah along the 70-kilometer (43-mile) Matras-Pesaren coastline. Despite the years of opposition, Timah continues to mine, which the government has deemed it is legally permitted to do. As of July 13, the group of around 300 fishers still had control of the Timah dredging vessel. Indonesian fishers from the Bangka-Belitung Islands stage a protest aboard a dredging vessel for offshore tin mining. Image courtesy of the Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam). Indonesian fishers from the Bangka-Belitung Islands stage a protest aboard a dredging vessel for offshore tin mining. Image courtesy of the Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam). The fishers say the mining has had a detrimental impact on the underwater ecosystem, which has subsequently reduced their catches. They have also complained of fuel and metal waste from the dredging vessel being dumped into the sea. The fishers have brought their grievances before local and national government officials, but say that in return they have been subjected to intimidation and criminalization. “We can’t just stay quiet because our families will die of hunger if the sea gets destroyed,” Suhardi, head of the group Traditional Fishers for the Environment (NTPL), said as quoted by local newspaper Kompas.…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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