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Jakarta Post

RI to sink foreign vessels fishing illegally: Minister

  • Ina Parlina

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, December 4, 2014   /  03:01 pm

Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno said on Thursday that on Saturday would sink three foreign vessels fishing illegally in Indonesian waters to help deter illegal fishing by foreign ships.

President Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo summoned Tedjo to discuss the action on Thursday.

"We have reported to the President [about the action] which will be done on Saturday. We will sink several vessels to show stern action against illegal [fishing]," Tedjo said after the meeting.

The minister said three foreign ships would be sunk in the waters near Matak Island in Anambas Regency in Riau.

The drastic measure, he added, would not hamper ties with other countries as it was in line with the law and had undergone legal proceedings in court.

The 2009 Fishery Law permits monitoring officers or investigators, including those under Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Minister Susi Pudjiastuti, as well as the military and the police to carry out specific actions against foreign fishing vessels caught fishing illegally, including sinking them.

Prevalent illegal fishing carried out by fishermen from neighboring countries such like Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and China have occurred in the country'€™s vast territorial waters, leading to declining catches among local fishermen.

As of November, the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry has captured five Thai fishing vessels and another from Vietnam, as well as 163 ships weighing 10-15 gross tons in Berau, East Kalimantan.

Jokowi said Indonesia suffered annual losses of some Rp 300 trillion (US$24.27 billion) as a result of illegal fishing. He also said that currently, 5,400 fishing vessels were operating illegally in Indonesian waters due to a lack of firm action by the government.

Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said that taking such drastic measures would not affect diplomatic relations between Indonesia and other countries. (ebf)(++++)

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