"Our sea should be for us, the people of Indonesia. The thieves cannot just steal fish in our own sea, and this certainly cannot be allowed," KKP Minister Susi Pudjiastuti remarked in a release here on Sunday.
Minister Pudjiastuti pointed out that if fishery resources were stolen by outsiders, then Indonesia would be left with nothing, so they must be maintained.
The minister also supported the outcome of the ministerial conference in Argentina on Dec 10-13 that had agreed to accommodate the interests of Indonesia in the fight against the practice of "Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) Fishing" and to conduct a review of the implementation of fishery subsidies.
As proclaimed, subsidies offered by the government in the fishery sector should focus on traditional fishermen to improve the welfare of their community.
"We judge that only some 16 percent of the total fishery subsidies from the Government of Indonesia is passed on to small-scale traditional fishermen," Chairman of the Indonesian Traditional Fishermen`s Association Marthin Hadiwinata stated.
According to Hadiwinata, some 90 percent of the fishery subsidies are given exclusively to large-scale fishing industries that contribute to overfishing.
Hadiwinata stated that Indonesia was one of the strongest countries committed to protecting small-scale fisheries through the FAO Guidelines on Small-Scale Fisheries Protection in the Context of Reducing Poverty and Food Security in 2014, where strategies to protect human rights are the essence to safeguarding the interests of small-scale fishermen.
EDITED BY INE