Report on Fishing Boats
Village of Kruengraya
Port of Malahayati

Eddie Bloom
Vice President Communication AIRO
Submitted February 7, 2005

Sunday morning I met with Dr. Alwi Shihab, Minister of Peoples Affairs, at Pondolopo
and expressed our need to identify the local fishing village Sea Commanders
(referred to as the "Paglima Laut") and the remaining hierarchical decision making
structure for any given area.  The Minister was very helpful and immediately called
one of his Deputy Army Commanders, General Dadeng Wirasuta, to take me back to
the fishing village of Kruengraya.  We went in a military transport with two additional
military personnel.  They called ahead to notify the local command post in
Kruengraya that we were coming and had several local authorities there waiting by
the time we arrived about an hours drive later.  

According to the records still in tact there, I was able to review them myself, there
were 12,289 people registered as residing in Kruengraya before December 26,
2004.  Currently, their population is at 10,150.  They have to date confirmed 1,026
dead (bodies recovered) and still have 1,113 missing.   They do presume most of
the missing to also be dead, but some may have immediately relocated to other
villages, gone to extended families elsewhere, or gone to Banda Aceh seeking
government assistance.  No one knows for sure. The village has it's own refugee
camp of homeless, currently with 9,744 registered occupants.

Fishing Livelihood
Their main occupation prior to the earthquake/tsunami was about 76% fishing,
about 20% brick making/farming combined, and but 5% shrimp farming.  Authorities
at the UN working on their cash to work program stated to me that the shrimp farms
had dwindled significantly before the disaster as the particular economy for their
survival no longer existed for a variety of reasons.  In short, while there may appear
to have been many shrimp farms in these villages, the percentage of shrimp
farming as a livelihood is likely to have been very small prior to the disaster, not
unlike the 5% at Kruengraya.  

According to the military and village authorities, including the locally identified
Paglima Laut / Sea Commander and his Vice Commander, whom we also were
able to identify, there are still approximately 30%, or some 450 of the fisherman left
and residing in the Kruengraya camps.  Before the disaster they had 95 small
fishing boats - 10-12 meter, 7-person run, motorized with 40 hp Yamaha gas
engines - they do not have diesel available in Kruengraya.  Currently they have 7 of
these remaining in various states of readiness (picture attached).

Boat Making Capability and Cost
We were also able to identify one boat maker still there who, with his family
members (6 total), made these 10-12 meter boats for a living, and is able to
continue.  The necessary supplies, mostly wood, are attainable from the Village of
Lamteba -  an inland village about 10 kilometers from Kruengraya.  The 40 hp
Yamaha motors they buy from either Medan or Batam and having them shipped to
Banda Aceh where they go by truck to retrieve.  That shipment from Medan or Batam
may now be far more cumbersome given the destruction of seaports, but that would
still need to be investigated.

The pre-disaster cost for building one of these 7-man, 12-meter boats was about
$7.5 million Rupiah, and the builder, with family, would need a month to build one
start to finish, including paint and finishing, but not the motor.  However, with
economy of scale working in their favor, they were confident that nearly 10 of the
same boats could be made in about 2 1/2 months time.  We did not discuss the
economies buying/contracting volume, or any likely negotiations of prices.   They
stated the cost of the 40 hp Yamaha motors purchased in Medan to be around $16
Million Rupiah each if delivered directly to Kruengraya; $14 Million Rupiah if picked
up in Banda Aceh.   They also stated that these could be cheaper if purchased and
shipped from Batam.  

In the Summary above are the names of each of the Sea Commanders we identified
in Kruengraya's Paglima Laut.  All, including the local military authorities there,
confirmed that the village is a heavily networked system of families who all look to
the Sea Commander and his Vice Commander for leadership and decision
making.  They were very certain that the village would accept the decision of these
local leaders regarding the eventual allotment of fishing boats to the remaining
fishermen families.  They stated it would be based on seniority and ability, but also
equally shared throughout as  much as possible.  I got that their hierarchical
authority structure is still in tact - they actually seemed to think my questioning along
these lines was a bit odd as it was apparently obvious to them.

Identification Pictures  (Signed by Military Commander, verifying identification)
Sea Commannder – Zakaria Ahmad
Vice Sea Commander – Rozele Abdullah
Boat Builder – Majuki Rasid
Commander Dadeng Wirsauta
Eddie Bloom, AIRO
Journal Entries - Click to

16 April 2006 - Eddie

22 January 2006 - Eric

27 September 2005 - Eric

6 September 2005 - Eddie

1 August 2005 - Eddie

28 July 2005 - Eddie

4 July 2005 - Aaron

16 June 2005 - Aaron

19 May 2005 – Eric

18 May 2005 - Aaron

24 April 2005 – Aaron

14 April 2005 – Eric

29 March 2005 – Eric

28 March 2005 - IM-Aaron/Eric

26 March 2005 – Eric

25 March 2005 – Eric

15 March 2005 – Aaron

16 March 2005 – Eric

11 March 2005 – Eric

3 March 2005 – Eric

27 February 2005 – Eric

23 February 2005 – Aaron

23 February 2005 – Eric

20-22 February 2005 – Eric

18 February 2005 – Eddie

18 February 2005 – Eric

16 February 2005 – Eddie

10-12 February 2005 – Eric

12 February 2005 – Eddie

11 February 2005 – Aaron

10 February 2005 – Eddie

9 February 2005 – Eddie

7 February 2005 – Eddie

5 February 2005 – Eddie

5 February 2005 – Part 2 –

4 February 2005 – Eddie

2 February 2005 – Aaron

1 February 2005 – Eddie

30 January 2005 – Eric
Journal Entries
Journal Entries
The guy in charge!
Sea Commanders and Boat
A boat still intact
Sea Commander, Boat
Builder, Local Military
Minister Alwi Shahib