Crimes in fishery industry undermine state’s sovereignty: minister

Jakarta (Antara) - Crimes in the fishery industry will potentially undermine the law and sovereignty of the country, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti stated.

"The crimes not only threaten the sustainability of food but also affect the economy, harm the environment, and undermine human rights," Pudjiastuti noted in a press statement received here on Tuesday.

The statement was delivered during the International Symposium on Crime of Fisheries held in Vienna, Austria, on September 25, 2017.

The crimes were related to insurance, ownership and licensing of vessels, corruption in obtaining permits, falsification of documents, tax evasion, money laundering, trafficking of people and illegal drugs.

The crimes often involve several parties domiciled in various countries.

"The FV Viking vessel is one such example of illegal fishing practices and violated the sovereignty of a country. The vessel had 25 flags, so the ship could change them at any time. They also easily falsified registration and licensing documents," she remarked.

Hence, various parties are also assessed to find a solution to the limitations faced in the legislation.

The International Symposium on Crime of Fishery is a follow-up meeting of the previous symposium held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in October 2016 and Cape Town, South Africa, in September 2015.

Some topics discussed during the symposium included global challenges in dealing with fishery crimes, transnational cases, fishery crimes in economy, human trafficking, capacity building programs, and the role of intergovernmental agencies in helping countries fight fishery crimes.

The symposium is intended to strengthen international commitments to combat fishery crimes through a joint statement that outlines efforts to eradicate fishery crimes through international cooperation and capacity building as well as by increasing global awareness on the issue.

The Maritime and Fisheries Affairs Ministry has seized 107 illegal fishing vessels from January to September, 2017, which included 81 foreign fishing vessels and 26 Indonesian fishing vessels.

Source: ANTARA News

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