Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Marine and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti has expressed concern with the "big threat" to ecosystem in the Indonesian sea pointing to plastic garbage and destructive fishing.

Indonesia is one of the biggest contributors to polluting the sea with garbage in the world, the Minister said addressing the launch of a campaign "Healthy Indonesian Sea Movement," here on Sunday.

Polluting the sea with garbage and rampant destructive fishing are among the biggest problems faced by Indonesia in the marine sector, she said.

She said fishermen in a number of areas still use potassium cyanide in fishing.

She said a gram of potassium cyanide could destroy ecosystem in a range of six square meters.

She said sea makes up 71 percent of the country`s territory, "therefore, it is very regrettable if we fail to protect the sea natural wealth."

She said Indonesia should be called a maritime country, instead of an agricultural country.

The minister also defended her policy of destroying foreign ships illegally operating in Indonesian waters.

She said 363 ships caught poaching in Indonesian waters have been exploded in the sea as a deterrent to illegal fishing.

There are much fewer cases of illegal fishing after the policy adopted by the Indonesian government since Susi was named marine and fishery minister.

Earlier, the Indonesian Association of Maritime Scholars (Iskindo) supported the policy adopted by the minister calling on the government to remain tough on illegal fishing.

"Iskindo asked the government to be consistent in its policy against illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing as well as destructive fishing," Iskindo chairman Moh Abdi Suhufan said.

He said currently there are massive degradation of the ecosystem in the sea in several areas of the country damaging the fishery sustainability.

He said results of studies indicated that around 90 percent of global fishing grounds have been over .

Therefore, consistency in the policy against IUU fishing needed to preserve the ecosystem in the country`s sea territory.


Reporter: antara
Editor: Heru Purwanto
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