The Jakarta Post
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti has stressed that she will maintain her policy of sinking ships that have been seized for involvement in illegal fishing.
Critics of the policy have said the ships should be sold off.
“There are lobbies from investors and owners of boats involved in illegal fishing to change the policy,” Susi said in Jakarta on Friday as reported by kontan.co.id.
She said they had called on her ministry to sell the ships to fishermen, but she was suspicious that the investors and owners of the confiscated vessels would take advantage of any auction.
“It is strange that they fear the sinking policy,” said, Susi, adding that she would maintain her policy of using the deterrent effect against illegal fishing.
“Political pressures as well as pressure from interested parties are so strong, but we should not be afraid.”
Previously, Susi said ships that had been seized could not be used for fishing activities. She said her ministry was open to other options, though. “If there is a proposal to convert them into research ships, we may discuss it further,” she said.
She added that the confiscated ships would fetch only very low prices at auction. For instance, a 100-gross-ton ship would be offered at Rp 186 million (US$13,975), while in fact it could be worth about Rp 1 billion.
More than 300 confiscated ships have been sunk by the government since 2014. (bbn)