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Bali's Fishing Fleet Confined to Port

Fuel Shortage at Bali's Main Fishing Port Prevents Sailing of Tuna Fleet.

(6/11/2009) A shortage of fuel at Bali's port of Benoa has forced 600 ships from an estimated fleet of 830 fishing boats to remain alongside until more fuel becomes available. According to the Bali Post, around 9,000 fishing ships crews have been idled by the fuel shortage that has brought protests from the Indonesian Longline Tuna Fishing Association. (ALTI).

The Secretary-General of the ALTI, Dwi Agus Siswa Putra, told the press that the shortage of fuel has lasted more than a week resulting in a loss of fishing revenues together with "hundreds of millions of rupiahs" in losses each day as ship owners pay the wages and food costs of their land-locked crews.

Agus told the press that if the fuel shortage continues to the point where ship owners can no longer pay crew salaries, he fears unspecified "unwanted consequences." The ALTI officials complained that the State Oil Company of Pertamina has failed to provide any information to ship owners in connection with the current fuel shortage.

Suggesting that the current shortage is part of a larger problem, Agus explained that the port of Benoa's yearly estimated need for fuel is 249,000 kiloliters per year, while only 62,000 kiloliters is actually delivered by Pertamina to the port.

Although fishing fleet owners have met on several occasions with Pertamina officials, the Bali Post says oil company officials have apparently washed their hands on the matter and are doing little to address the shortage of fuel.