Indonesia, Australia develop strategy to eradicate illegal fishing

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Republic of Indonesia and Australia are collaborating to develop a strategy to eradicate Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing in a number of areas.

Aryo Hanggono, Expert Staff of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Minister for Ecology and Marine Resources Field, stated in a press release received on Monday that the strategy development was carried out, among others, by conducting a joint seminar.

The seminar was organized by Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) of Australia at the ministry office on Oct 20.

The seminar entitled "Enabling Law Enforcement at Sea Through Improved Use of Monitoring and Surveillance Datasets" was a form of cooperation between the Indonesian and Australian governments to detect the loading and unloading of fish in the sea and to monitor the movements of ships involved in illegal fishing.

According to Hanggono, Indonesia is the third largest fish catcher in the world, with major export to Asian countries and United States of America.

However, he stated that in 2006, Indonesia was estimated to suffer a loss of US$2 billion, of which the amount of illegally caught fish reached 1.5 times the legal capture.

He also believed that one of the territorial waters in Indonesia that became an area of IUU Fishing was the Arafura Sea.

"Two locations that are prone to illegal fishing are the Arafura Sea and Indian Ocean. As we know, the Arafura Sea is a golden fishing zone in Indonesia. We can catch fish throughout the year here, irrespective of the season," he explained.

Meanwhile, he called for the joint monitoring of the Indian Ocean region by Indonesia and Australia, because the sea was very wide.

According to a number of studies, the global current total value of losses due to IUU Fishing was estimated to be from $10 billion to $23.5 billion every year.

Meanwhile, Indonesias national economic losses reached 26 million tons of fish per year from 11 million tons, or more than 20 percent of the global total capture fishery production. (*)