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Jakarta Post

Fighting illegal fishing is a net gain

  • Darmawan Prasodjo

Jakarta   /   Mon, September 12 2011   /  08:00 am

Indonesian waters represent some of the richest fishing grounds in the world. Yet many of the country’s fishing communities struggle to compete with widespread illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing — accounting for a loss of nearly half their revenue of roughly US$4 billion.

Considering that 63 million citizens rely on fishing as a source of income, this problem merits serious attention.

To avoid the significant losses associated with illegal fishing, Indonesia must make greater efforts to protect its fishing grounds to prevent overfishing, ensure more revenue for fishermen abiding by the rules and develop a way to manage fishery resources more sustainably.

Indonesia’s large sea territory — nearly 5.8 million square kilometers — makes it particularly vulnerable to illegal fishing. Each year, close to 5,000 illegal fishing vessels operate in Indo...