The Jakarta Post
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti relished in the improved performance of Indonesia’s fishing industry ever since the administration began cracking down on illegal fishing by foreign boats in 2015.
Speaking at the Security Summit in Yogyakarta recently, Susi said Indonesia’s fish stock had risen to an average 12.5 million tons per year compared to 7.1 million tons before 2015.
As a result, the ministry recorded gross domestic product (GDP) of Indonesia’s fishing industry at Rp 169.5 trillion (US$11.2 billion) last year, the highest in Southeast Asia according to the minister.
She also claimed that the fishing industry’s GDP in Thailand and Vietnam have dropped significantly since 2015.
“So now we know where these countries had really gotten their fish from,” she said as reported by tempo.co. “They should really just buy Indonesian fish.”
However, Susi said her tough stance on illegal fishing vessels did not mean that Indonesia’s fishing industry would be completely closed off to foreigners.
Susi said the government welcomed foreigners to invest in the domestic fish-processing sector and that investors would be allowed to have full control over any factory or technological asset they set up in Indonesia.
“We welcome foreign investment as long as the fishing is done by Indonesians,” she said.
Sinking illegal fishing vessels is a cornerstone of Susi’s maritime affairs policy. Under her guidance, the government has sunk more than 380 vessels since 2015. “You can’t solve big problems with a soft approach, so we settled upon a ‘boom!’ approach,” said Susi. (nor/bbn)
Editor's note: The second paragraph of this article has been corrected.