Pontianak (Greeners) – Minister of Marine and Fisheries Affairs, Susi Pudjiastuti, led the sinking of 13 foreign vessels from Vietnam in Tanjung Datu of West Kalimantan, following the court decision.
Minister Susi, who also the head of Illegal Fishing Eradication Task Force or Satgas 115, said that the sinking of vessels is one of the solutions to deal with declining marine and fisheries resources of Indonesia for many years.
It also as a symbol of firm action from Indonesian government to create deterrent effects for public.
“This is a way out nicely done from our country to scare off other nations or countries. The solution should have been the tradition to uphold legal enforcement. I invite the ambassador and the business people over lunch, we treat them good. I only say to them that I’m executing the laws as stipulated by this country to solve the issue, so please help me,” said Minister Susi in a press release to Greeners on Saturday (04/05/2019).
The sinking of 13 vessels is part of drowning 51 illegal fishing boats which have already being convicted by Indonesian courts. Previously, there were two boats sank in Bitung on last April. The remaining 36 vessels will be determine later.
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The sinking of vessels caught with illegal fishing refers to the 2009 Law on Fisheries, which allowed by the Indonesian court.
Since October 2014, Indonesia sank 503 vessels, — 284 from Vietnam, 92 from Philippines, 23 from Thailand, 73 from Malaysia, two from Papua New Guinea, one from China, one from Nigeria, one from Belize and 26 from Indonesia –.
Minister Susi said that the sinking of illegal vessels had brought positive impacts to Indonesian fisheries as it creates deterrent effect for illegal fishing perpetrator. In addition, the action will ensure legal certainty in Indonesia as sovereign country.
“By sinking, we give legal certainty to every one. Investment needs legal certainty in a country and we give legal certainty to law violators. There is no legal discrimination. That’s what I want,” she said.
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In the third quarter of 2015, the fisheries production reached 5,363,274 tons to 5,664,326 tons in 2016, or increase 5.24 percent.
In the same period in 2017, there was an increase of 8.51 percent with a total of 6,124,522 tons. Meanwhile, in third quarter of 2018, it increased 1.93 percent or 6,242,846 tons.
By third quarter of 2018, GDP from fisheries reached to Rp59.98 trillion (US$4.1 billion), an increase compare to same period in 2017 with Rp57.84 trillion (US$4.05 billion).
Despite of the GDP slow down from 6.85 percent in the third quarter of 2017 to 3.71 percent in the third quarter of 2018, there was still increase in every quarters also with fisheries production.
Sutarmidji, West Kalimantan Governor, appreciates government’s effort to destroy illegal fishing and suggests to speed up the process after they were captured.
“As a governor, I highly agree with the sinking of illegal fishing. But, the process is taking too long. It should be capture, then a week after sink them. Done. Because, from the legal perspective, if it becomes evidence and not destroyed immediately, they can appeal. If the ships in bad condition, they can sue us and it is their rights. We made the rules, so why our own rules don’t side with us when we have to face other countries,” said Sutarmidji.
Reports by Dewi Purningsih