"The government remains committed in combating all forms of IUU fishing and fisheries crime in the Indonesian waters, and it needs global support to make the efforts more effective," Pudjiastuti stated after inaugurating the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) building in Manado, North Sulawesi, on Tuesday.
According to Pudjiastuti, crimes in the marine and fisheries sector, such as IUU fishing is a global problem that threatens ocean ecosystems and sustainable fisheries.
"We are grateful to receive support and positive response from the international community. I hope to continue this cooperation in order to fight against IUU in the fisheries sector globally," Pudjiastuti explained during the first Regional Workshop on IUU Fishing and Sustainable Fisheries Exercise in Manado.
She explained that such a crime in the fisheries sector is highly detrimental to Indonesia as it not only depleted the natural resources of the ocean but also resulted in economic losses of up to US$20 billion per year.
Pudjiastuti further added that IUU fishing activities posed a threat to 65 percent of the coral reefs, 85 percent of the global fish stocks, and small-scale fishermen.
She remarked that IUU fishing was also associated with human rights crimes, such as human trafficking and slavery, money laundering, corruption, and tax fraud.
The establishment of a task force to combat IUU fishing, which was decided by the Indonesian president on October 19, 2015, was a milestone in the eradication of illegal fishing in the country.
The workshop is a forum to share information and experiences and to gain knowledge on IUU fishing and other fishing-related crimes from various expert sources, such as the FAO, ILO, UNODC, the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs, illegal fishing combating task force, and the Indonesian Navy.(*)