The important issue now is to expand more effective regional and international cooperation."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The presence of the Maritime Security Board (Bakamla) to maintain security and safety at sea is expected to remove the ego-sectoral among law enforcement agencies.

Established in December 2014, Bakamla constitutes an evolution of the Maritime Security Coordinating Board with more powerful roles and functions, as well as a larger staff and fleet.

Bakamla was established and tasked with coordinating numerous institutions in Indonesias maritime sector, including the Navy, the water police, prosecutors offices and Marine and Fisheries Ministry, among others.

The presence of Bakamla has been very good but it should remove the ego-sectoral among the law enforcement agencies, the Peoples Coalition for Fisheries Justice (Kiara) Secretary General Abdul Halim has said.

"The presence of Bakamla has been already very good, but the ego-sectoral remains a disease in this republic," the Kiara secretary general remarked in Jakarta, Thursday.

The phenomenon of ego-sectoral among the various law enforcement authorities is an indicator of the emergence of Fish Anti-theft Task Forces under the leadership of Marine and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti, according to Halim.

With regard to the disappearance of ex-foreign fishing boats from Indonesian waters for allegedly plying without permission, Abdul Halim opined that the fact showed that law enforcement efforts at sea, ranging from the identification, arrest, investigation, and punishment have not been systematic.

The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries keeps implementing policy measures that focus on aspects of sovereignty, sustainability, and welfare of Indonesian society, as has been reported.

The structure of the ministrys total budget is executed under three pillars of its mission, namely 18.19 percent for sovereignty, 67.23 percent for sustainability, and 14.23 percent for welfare, a release from Marine and Fisheries Ministry revealed recently.

The Marine and Fisheries Ministry has also prepared a budget of Rp13.8 trillion in 2016 for the monitoring of marine resources and fisheries.

The increasing fleet of maritime surveillance in Indonesia is still considered ineffective because of overlapping regulations relating to the supervision of the sea, Indonesian Traditional Fishermen Union (KNTI) Chairman Riza Damanik stated.

"Every year there is the addition of surveillance vessels and the budget for the surveillance in a variety of state institutions, but the addition to the surveillance fleet has yet to make the effectiveness of safety at sea significant," Damanik remarked here Friday.

One obstacle is the limited scope of the regulation and the overlapping of related laws, according to him.

Therefore, there are a number of principles to be followed, among others, to unravel the regulation of supervision at sea in order to prevent the wasting and the collision among institutions, and to strengthen the legal instruments for its prevention, Damanik noted.

Furthermore, building an advanced ship for conducting fishery patrol, as proposed by the marine and fisheries minister, was considered important but not yet urgent, he stated.

"One day we will probably need a sophisticated ship, given that fishery and maritime crimes are becoming increasingly sophisticated, but as of now, such a ship is not yet considered urgent," Damanik remarked Friday.

Currently, a more pressing matter related to fisheries surveillance at sea is to increase the participation of fishermen in catching and monitoring the fisheries, Damanik affirmed.

Other urgent aspects are to encourage transparency in fishery data and information and to improve the rule and law for fisheries to be in line with the latest developments, including preventing the recurrence of conflicts over authority at sea, Damanik noted.

"The important issue now is to expand more effective regional and international cooperation," the KNTI chairman noted.

During a Marine and Fisheries Business Investment Forum at the Marine and Fisheries Ministry office in Jakarta Thursday, state-owned shipbuilding company PT PAL Indonesia President Director Firmansyah had remarked that the company was designing the first sophisticated Indonesian fisheries patrol ship.

The idea was proposed by Marine and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti to help the mission of maritime surveillance and monitoring, Firmansyah said.

The ships original design was that of a warship having the equipment ordered by the armed forces of neighboring countries, according to the PT PAL Indonesia president director.

On completion, the sophisticated fisheries patrol ship will also serve as a coordinating command post and will be used for other practical functions, such as providing fuel, he noted.

The Marine and Fisheries Ministry planned to provide 3,325 fishing boats for traditional fishermen, Chairman of the Commission-II of the Regional Representative council (DPD), Parlindungan Purba, remarked in Medan, North Sumatra, recently.

The high technology boats in various sizes would improve the productivity of local fishermen and would contribute to improving their welfare, he noted.

"In addition the availability of modern equipped boats would make the local fishermen more competitive and help reduce illegal fishing," he said.

Reporter: Otniel Tamindael
Editor: Priyambodo RH
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