Minister insists on destroying illegal foreign fishing vessels

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INDONESIA:The Indonesian Minister of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Susi Pudjiastuti, remains committed to her principles to eliminate foreign fishing vessels that operate illegally in Indonesian waters, even though other members of the Cabinet do not agree with some of their methods.

 

Maritime Affairs Coordinating Minister Luhut Pandjaitan, supported by Vice President Jusuf Kallaon, and Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadisaid, said on Monday that Susi should end his policy of sinking illegal foreign ships, in order to maintain good diplomatic relations between Indonesia and the countries from which those fishing vessels come. Instead of destroying them, Luhut proposes that confiscated ships to be sold to local fishermen.

However, the Fisheries Act of 45/2009 clearly states that the blowing up and sinking of foreign vessels is allowed, which supports Susi's position. Accordingly, the Fisheries Minister said she will continue destroying illegal foreign ships, as determined by law and in accordance with the instructions of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).

An article published in 2016 by Gadjah Mada University analysed the advantages and disadvantages of the policy of sinking illegal fishing vessels, and mentioned that an official of the Ministry of Fisheries had revealed the existence of a mafia that controlled the auction and sale of confiscated ships.

Luhut emphatically denied that his request to put aside the policy of destruction of illegal ships has as a further objective to protect that mafia.
Source:FIS

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