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Excerpt from news.mongabay.com

Fishers in Indonesia’s Riau province have petitioned President Joko Widodo to end offshore dredging operations that they say threaten their livelihoods and the marine ecosystem.

The letter, submitted in April to Widodo and the energy minister, calls for the revocation of the permit held by dredging company PT Logomas Utama. The company is currently allowed to dredge sand along 5,030 hectares (12,430 acres) on the northern coast of Rupat Island, off the province of Riau in Sumatra. The petition follows a government initiative to review thousands of palm oil and mining permits, and to revoke those deemed to be moving too slowly in exploiting natural resources.

“We’re not carelessly accusing them here,” Akhun, a member of the Adesta Seagull Fisher Group, said in a press conference on April 18. “Before the sand mining started, our catch was enough to cover household expenses. It has declined so much since the dredging began.”

He added that the dredging had put “our families on the line,” with “hardly anything” to bring home to their wives and children. “Pay us attention,” Akhun said. “Help us small fishers.”

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