Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan has prohibited Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Mister Susi Pudjiastuti from continuing her policy of sinking fishing boats caught illegally catching fish in Indonesian waters.
“The [ministry] has been told not to sink ships this year; it is enough,” Luhut said in Jakarta on Monday after chairing a coordination meeting in his office.
The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry started cracking down on illegal fishing by foreign ships in 2015. More than 380 vessels have since been scuttled or destroyed, with last year’s figure alone reaching 87 ships weighing between 70 and 120 gross tonnage
Luhut said this year’s priority was to increase exports from maritime resources, particularly fish, the production of which had increased significantly. He called on the ministry to pay attention to aquaculture businesses to boost production and exports.
Luhut also called on Susi to allow fishermen to use cantrang (traditional seine net), even though the fishing method had been proven hazardous to the marine environment. The ban on cantrang has been delayed several times and was scheduled to be enforced this year.
“Don’t make any policy that would [trouble] fishermen,” he added.
In response to the prohibition, Susi said the sinking of illegal fishing ships was based on the Indonesian Fisheries Law.
“It is not my personal wish,” she said as reported by tempo.co (bbn)