The Jakarta Post
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti has been presented a Peter Benchley Ocean Award in the leadership category.
On the official website, peterbenchleyoceanawards.org, the award committee stated that the prestigious award was given to Susi on Thursday night for work that was vital to protecting Indonesia’s unique marine ecosystem and which provided important economic benefits and sustained the livelihoods of tens of thousands of fishermen, their families and their communities.
“Minister Susi has aggressively protected her nation’s economic and environmental interests by targeting the multi-billion dollar pirate fishing operations of foreign fleets. She has courageously and audaciously led the blowing up and sinking of more than 200 illegal fishing boats caught poaching— a strong deterrent to organized crime efforts that have invaded and overfished Indonesia’s biologically rich waters for years,” it said.
Susi said in her acceptance speech that the award was a gift from God that reassured her that Indonesia was on the right path in protecting its marine ecosystem.
“I’m sure what we have done is right. Moreover, the economic parameters have been amazing. This war against illegal fishing is a favorable war for us,” Susi said.
The ministry’s policies were studied and calculated thoroughly, “The proof is the result achieved, which is amazing,” she added.
“However, sometimes pressure forces people to compromise, but I hope this never happens. Mr. Jokowi really understands that the policy is good,” Susi said. She said in making policies there were times when there was a lot of pressure, but that she would remain firm and consistent in making maritime the nation’s future. (hol/dan)