Jakarta (Greeners) – A legal instrument to enforce coral reefs damages by MV Caledonian Sky yacht was being prepared by the government team, said Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya Bakar, in Jakarta, on Monday (20/3).
Minister Siti said that the government will be using two laws, on environmental management and protection issued in 2009 and ecosystem and natural resources conservation issued in 1990.
In addition, the government will be using the United Nation Convention on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS) as it involved foreign ship hit coral reefs in Indonesian waters. However, the law can only applied if the ship’s origin also members of UNCLOS.
“Meanwhile, if the government wants to claim compensation, we are told to use criminal acts juncto 1990 Law and 1990 law to get civil charges,” she said.
Brahmantya Satyamurti, director general of marine spatial planning, ministry of marine affairs and fisheries, said that the government will start its investigation and file charges as there were coral damages in several locations.
The damages include declining quality of coral reefs biodiversity which qualified as criminal charges.
“As a result of that hit, coral reefs were damaged. At a minimum, there was negligence from the captain to be able to be processed as criminal charge. Investigators will be from the ministry or the police,” said Satyamurti. “The ministry and Raja Ampat government can also file compensation to MV Caledonian Sky and Noble Caledonian company.”
Furthermore, he said that the yacht had violated several regulations in Indonesia, including the 2009 environmental law, the 2004 law on fisheries, and 2001 Ministerial Regulation on coral reefs criteria.
On March 3, MV Caledonia Sky with 79 crews and 102 passengers aboard hit coral reefs in Manswar island of Meos Manswar, Raja Ampat district, just after midnight.
Initial assumption, the hit was caused because the captain only monitored GPS and radar without calculating natural condition meanwhile its position was not in line with shallow water topography.
The yacht was managed to be pulled after waiting for high tide. However, it caused physical damage to 1600 square meters of coral reef.
A team of government agencies, including ministry of marine affairs and fisheries, coordinating ministry of maritime issues, ministry of environment and forestry, ministry of transportation, ministry of tourism, ministry of legal and human rights, district attorney and police, will be assessing damages of coral reefs and the legal aspects.
Reports by Danny Kosasih