Ministry claims illegal fishing dropped by 90 percent in Indonesia

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Ekuatorial, Jakarta, Indonesia

Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti claimed that illegal fishing dropped to 90 percent at the end of 2014.

“By the end of 2014, illegal fishing went down  90 percent. We expect to be 100 percent for Indonesia’s fishermen sovereignty,” said Pudjiastuti at the 2014 Reflection and 2015 Outlook event of her ministry, in Jakarta, on Monday (5/1).

Furthermore, she said that fisheries products for Indonesia’s fishermen have also shown increase from her policy to fight illegal fishing. She cited on ministry regulation on fishing moratorium in Indonesian waters, ministry regulation on transshipment ban, and prohibit foreign people employed as captains and crews.

As a result, from thousands of foreign ships sailing through Indonesian waters, only hundreds of them left monitored by the ministry. In addition, she also proposed for presidential decree or decision to the President to speed up illegal fishing. “It’s our [government] effort to realize a sovereign and independent marine nation through sustainable marine and fisheries resources,” she said. “President [Joko Widodo] dream on future from marine sector so we will set up appropriate and sustainable plans. We don’t want to catch 100 tonnes [of fish] now but we run out of [fish] tomorrow.”

Syarief Widjaja, general secretary of the ministry said that the move to sink five illegal ships caught stealing fish in Indonesian waters have frightened most of people. Widjaja said that this was crucial move for Indonesia because the country has lost amount of resources. “Low fishermen’ welfare, low state income, not to mention environment destruction over these stealing,” he said