All parties should eliminate illegal fishing activities: President

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo has urged all parties to eliminate illegal fishing activities from Indonesian waters in an attempt to preserve marine resources.

"We should fight against illegal fishing bravely to safeguard our marine resources," President Joko Widodo stated at the 2017 Annual Session of the Peoples Consultative Assembly in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Various parties should not hesitate to maintain Indonesias sovereignty and safeguard the natural resources, the president said.

"The government continues to sink foreign vessels found fishing illegally in Indonesian waters.

Marine and Fishery Affairs Minister Susi Pudjiastuti earlier urged fishermen to comply with regulations issued by the government.

The minister, emphasized the importance of fishing communities to comply with the rules.

"President Joko Widodo has signed the Presidential Regulation No. 44/2016, which does not allow foreigners to fish in Indonesian waters," Pudjiastuti stated.

She pointed out that fishermen should obey the rules for gaining the countrys attention towards them, in order to realize sustainable fisheries.

She asked the fishermen to report the size of the ship and details of the fishing gear accurately without cheating and pay taxes honestly.

"If owners of the ship cheat, the fisheries sector cannot contribute to the states finances," she noted.

Therefore, she called on authorities to make a consolidation to anticipate frauds.

Indonesia, the worlds largest archipelagic nation, has abundant marine resources with economic prospects touching Rp3,000 trillion (US$257 billion) per year.

Based on data of Public Coalition for Fisheries Justice (Kiara), the state lost Rp101 trillion to illegal fishing activities between January and August 2014, during which a total of 1.6 million tons of fish (182 tons per day) were stolen from Indonesian waters.

Most of the foreign fishing boats that poached in Indonesian waters came from Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China.

Nine of the countrys 11 regional fisheries management areas have indications of overfishing due to poaching.(*)