Sinking of illegal ships improves fish stocks in Indonesian waters

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Director General of Capture of Fishery of Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Sjarief Widjaja stated that the current activities of sinking fishing boats caught fishing illegally in Indonesian waters has resulted in an increase in fish stocks.

"Sinking foreign ships caught fishing illegally has resulted in an increase in fish stocks from 6.5 million tons (in 2011) to 9.9 million tons," he stated here on Thursday.

The calculation was derived from a fish stock assessment that was conducted in 2016, with the territorial coverage of 11 areas of fisheries management.

Based on the result, the ministry issued Ministerial Decree No. 47 of 2016 regarding potential estimation, number of permissible fish catches, and the utilization rate of fish resources in areas of fisheries management of Indonesia, with estimated potential of 9.9 million tons.

According to Widjaja, the increase in fish stocks also encouraged fishermen to go to sea. The ministry also noted that that the port has been equipped with all facilities and infrastructure in order to ease the work of fishermen.

In addition, he remarked that state-owned companies, such as a limited company of Perikanan Nusantara and Perikanan Indonesia, have improved their roles in managing fish catches.

Previously, President Joko Widodo stated in Jakarta on Wednesday that the policy of sinking foreign ships that conduct illegal fishing in Indonesian waters is a law enforcement effort.

"We are not kidding with illegal fishing. Therefore, the most severe sanction is to sink ships that conduct illegal fishing," he added.

He revealed that the effort was done to provide a deterrent effect for law offenders involved in illegal fishing.

Meanwhile, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan explained that no ships would be sunk in 2018, because the government wanted to focus on increasing fisheries production.

"There will be no activity of sinking ships again. This is an order. It is enough to sink boats. Now, we will focus on efforts to increase fisheries production, so that our fishery exports will increase," he elaborated, after attending a coordination meeting with four ministers under the coordination of Ministry of Maritime Affairs at the ministry building, on Monday.

He pointed out that the order has been submitted to the Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti, who also attended the coordination meeting. " This is an order. We have conveyed that there is no activity of sinking boats, and it is enough," Pandjaitan, who was also the former coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, noted.

He added that the confiscation will be done on ships that violate fisheries regulations. However, the sanction to sink ships could be done for special offenses.

Source: ANTARA News

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