Natuna fishermen should optimally capitalize on fishery facilities

Natuna, Riau Islands (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has called on fishermen in Natuna District, Riau Islands Province, to garner optimum benefits from the fishery infrastructure and facilities built in the district.

"Speaking of fisheries, we had prepared and built (infrastructure and facilities) four years ago. Is there any benefit?" he stated at a meeting with fishermen at the Natuna Integrated Marine and Fisheries Center in Riau Islands Province on Wednesday.

He pointed out that with such facilities, fishermen can sell all their fish catch.

"I have just asked (any of you) if they caught 50 kilograms of fish, then where they would sell it. Did they sell it to middlemen? If so, the fish can entirely be sold," he stated.

The head of state affirmed that the central government and regional administrations were keen that people capitalize on marine resources for boosting their prosperity and welfare.

The government supports any efforts made to promote the fishermen's welfare, he remarked.

"That is what the government will support. We have spent much (building the infrastructure and facilities). Hence, they must be useful for all of you," he noted.

Any shortage in infrastructure and facilities must be overcome and improvements be brought about.

"Make sure that the buildings do not just appear good and ultimately give nothing to fishermen," he stated.

The Natuna waters have again drawn the attention of national and international media outlets after Chinese coast guard vessels and fishing boats repeatedly violated the Indonesian exclusive economic zone (EEZ) rights.

The Chinese vessels were found escorting tens of Chinese fishing boats to poach on Indonesia's EEZ near the Natuna waters on December 19 and December 24, 2019.

In response to these ongoing violations, President Jokowi was unequivocal in his declaration that Indonesia will not negotiate with any party over its sovereignty, especially regarding the country's territory in the Natuna waters in Riau Islands.

"There is no negotiation regarding matters pertaining to sovereignty and our territory," the president remarked at the opening of a cabinet session at the State Palace on Monday (Jan 6, 2020).

Source: Antara News

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