"Based on the latest update, certain fishermen belonging to the Philippines are using Indonesian Identity Cards (KTP) in Bitung (North Sulawesi)," Susi Pudjiastuti told a press conference here on Wednesday.
According to Susi, investigation into the case was nearing completion and those allegedly involved in such activities have been arrested.
In addition, she noted, her ministry also found that some of the accused had changed the fishing vessels documents and even the status of the fishing boats, showing them as vessels owned by locals when, in fact, these were foreigner-owned.
Minister Susi revealed that all related facts have been collected, including a transcript recovered from the fishermen.
Previously, the ministry had stated that campaign against illegal fishing in Indonesian waters had an impact and the national production of fish meal had increased.
"The availability of domestically produced fish meal increased and the imports of fish meal has gone down," the Director General of Aquaculture, Slamet Soebjakto, said.
According to Slamet Soebjakto, if this condition continued, slowly but surely, the fish feed industry will start using the national fish meal widely.
In addition, he said, to increase the income of farmers, particularly freshwater fish farmers, a breakthrough was needed in the provision of fish feed.
"To answer these challenges, the ministry has launched a Self-Reliant Fish Meal Movement (Gerpari). The Gerpari will encourage setting up an independent group of fish feed (Pokari), separate from the fish farmers group," he stressed.(*)