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Singing the Navy Blues

Local Fisherman Complain About U.S. Navy Ship Visits to Bali.

(2/10/2003) Regular visits by U.S. Navy Warships on R&R calls in Bali have prompted complaints by local fishermen claiming the visits cause them economic hardship.

Fisherman from the Kedonganan Beach area of Bali recently called on the provincial parliament to voice their complaints to local lawmakers. According to the fishermen, the U.S. Navy ships, that typically visit Bali commencing from March each year and are sometimes at anchor for 1-2 week periods, establish security perimeters that make it difficult or impossible for the local fishing fleet to set to sea.

The most recent visit by local fisherman to make their concerns know to local parliamentarians revisits a long standing complaint from the fishing fleet seeking some sort of financial compensation for being denied the chance to work whenever the U.S. Navy is in town.

While Ida Bagus Setyabudi from Commission V of the Parliament promised the delegation that he would lobby for the Navy ships to be shifted to the already crowded Benoa port area, the size of the U.S. Navy ships precludes their access to the Benoa port area.

The only other viable anchorage is off Padang Bai, located on Bali's east coast, a 2.5 hour drive from the capital city of Denpasar.