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Jakarta Post

Navy sinks 10 more ships as 2015 draws to a close

  • Nani Afrida

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, January 2, 2016   /  05:03 pm

The Navy sunk 10 more illegal fishing boats on New Year'€™s Eve, a moved aimed at further proving that the country is serious about promoting its territorial integrity.

'€œWe remain consistent, so anyone violating our laws should receive harsh punishment,'€ Navy spokesperson Commander M. Zainuddin said in Jakarta on Thursday.

Zainuddin said that out of the 10 illegal boats, four were foreign boats flying Philippine and Malaysian flags, while six boats flew Indonesian flags but had foreign crews.

The Navy sank the boats in the four different locations; in Tarakan, North Kalimantan, Beting Camar, Belawan in North Sumatra, in Ranai, Riau Islands, and in Tahuna, North Sulawesi.

Zainuddin said the Navy had received a court order to carry out its task and that the decision to sink the boats was based on allegations that they did not have the necessary documents to run their
fishing operations in Indonesian waters.

The Navy also involved the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry and Anti-Illegal Fishing Task Force (Satgas 115) in their operations against illegal fishing activities.

According to ministry data, the country caught 157 illegal fishing boats in 2015, 107 of which have been sunk.

The largest number of the boats came from Vietnam, with 39 boats, followed by the Philippines with 34 boats, Thailand with 21 boats, Malaysia with six boats, Papua New Guinea with one boat and China with one boat.

Article 69 of Law No. 45/2009 on fisheries stipulates that the coast guard can sink foreign vessels operating illegally in the country'€™s territorial waters with sufficient preliminary evidence.

President Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo is leading the campaign against illegal fishing and has said that it costs the country billions of dollars in lost revenue every year.

Meanwhile, Satgas 115 director Rear Admiral Widodo said that Indonesia would continue to be the target of illegal fishing activity.

'€œThailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam need huge amounts of fish, but they don'€™t have the supply, so their fishermen try to meet demand by conducting illegal fishing activities in our area,'€ Widodo said on Thursday.

Widodo said that his unit would step up its efforts by conducting more patrols, including air surveillance operations.

'€œIbu [Minister Susi Pudjiastuti] has said that Satgas should step up air patrols. We expect zero violations this year,'€ Widodo said.

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