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Jakarta Post

Jokowi declares war on illegal fishing

  • Hasyim Widhiarto

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, November 18, 2014   /  05:06 pm

Responding to rampant illegal fishing in the country'€™s oceans, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has instructed law enforcers to take stern actions against foreign ships stealing fish from Indonesian waters, including by sinking them on the spot.

Delivering his remarks in a meeting with the participants of the National Resilience Institute's (Lemhannas) annual training, President Jokowi said on Tuesday that Indonesia lost around Rp 300 trillion annually from illegal fishing and needed to immediately take firm action to avoid further losses.

"There is no need to arrest them [the illegal fishing boats]; just sink them," Jokowi said. His words were followed by applause from the audience packing a meeting hall in the Presidential Palace.

There are currently 5,400 illegal ships operating in Indonesian waters and implementing stern action had become the only way for the government to deter them, Jokowi said.

"Sink 10 to 20 [illegal ships]; it would make them [the illegal fishermen] think. But rescue the crew first."

To put the plan into action, Jokowi said he would immediately discuss it with related parties, including Indonesian Military commander Gen. Moeldoko, Navy chief of staff Adm. Marsetio, and Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti.

Jokowi said that Susi, in a Cabinet meeting on Monday, had reported that her ministry had recently managed to confiscate four ships for committing illegal fishing in Indonesian waters located to the north of Kalimantan.

The law enforcers, according to Jokowi, would have been able to arrest dozens more ships had their patrol boats had a sufficient amount of fuel. (nvn)(++++)

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