Anti Illegal Fishing Task Force Ready To Be Implemented

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Menteri Kelautan dan Perikanan, Susi Pudjiastuti. Foto: Kosasih

Jakarta (Greeners) – Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries can finally prosecute illegal fishing as President Joko Widodo signed the 2015 Presidential Regulation on Illegal Fishing Eradication Task Force.

Once the regulation is issued, Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti said that she hoped there will be no long trial process as the task force had been officially established.

“One of my disappointments was Ambon Court had released Hai Fa vessel, the largest boat ever caught by Indonesian officials over illegal fishing. The case was automatically halted because Maluku District Attorney did not file for legal suits,” said Minister Susi in her press release, in Jakarta, on Tuesday (03/11).

Furthermore, she said that Zhu Nian Le, the vessel’s captain was only charged with Rp 200 million of fine and six months of prison.

In addition, Susi cited two more vessels, Sino 35 and 36, which were caught using fishing tools not in accordance with the permit. These boats were using pair trawls endangering fishes.

Based on Article 85 of Law on Fisheries, violators are liable for a maximum five years in prison and up to Rp 2 billion. In addition of Rp 100 million fine, officials confiscated their trawls as state property. However, the judge ruled out the action and decided to return the trawls to their owners.

“We are under one operation [now] because the Illegal Fishing Task Force is complete as TNI (Indonesian Army) and Polri (Indonesian Police), PPATK (Indonesian Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center), immigration, Ministry of Law and Human Rights, District Attorney Office, and State Intelligence, are member of the task force,” she said.

However, previously, the regulation was feared to be causing new problem as the authority granted to the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries was far too great and exceeded other ministries’ jurisdictions.

Abdul Halim, Secretary General of People’s Coalition for Fisheries Justice (Kiara), said that the ministry’s authority as stated in the presidential regulation was overlapping with previous policies. They should have harmonized policies, he said, if they want to achieve more effective and efficient law enforcement in the sea.

“President Jokowi had been robbed. The presidential regulation run over and overlap with existing policies,” he said in Jakarta, on Monday (26/10).

On Oct, Kiara’s Data and Information Center recorded four policies overlapped with the new presidential regulation, which were Presidential Regulation on Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Law on Ocean, Law on Fisheries, and Presidential Regulation on Maritime Security Agency.

Report by Danny Kosasih