Nias prone to illegal fishing: Councillor
Fish poaching practices around North Nias waters have become rampant in the past few years due to lax territorial surveillance, according to a local councillor.
Rasali Zalukhu, the speaker of North Nias legislative council, pointed specifically to Wunga and Mouse, both islands located at the outermost points of Indonesian territory, as the hub of illegal fishing.
The two islands, which are about three hours by boat from Nias, are inhabited by a few families.
Rasali said that the council regularly received information that the islands were hiding places for foreign fugitives in addition to hosting illegal fishing.
“Foreign fishermen poach fish almost at will because of the absence of territorial patrols,” he said.
He said the fishermen came from Thailand, Australia and India.
A fishing boat manned with Thai crew members was reportedly caught trespassing in the territory last month.
Mukhtar, an official in charge of monitoring marine resources in Belawan, Sumatra mainland, said that sea surveillance was conducted only around South Nias.
“We do not patrol up to Wunga and Mouse because they are close to free zone,” he said.