"The lobster seeds seized were worth Rp37.53 billion," Head of the Fish Quarantine and Quality Control Agency (BKIPM) Rina noted in a press release received here on Saturday.
Some 246,673 lobster seeds, comprising 235,900 seeds of sand lobsters and 10,773 seeds of pearl lobsters, were confiscated through the combined efforts made by a joint team of East Tanjungjabung Police Criminal Investigation Unit and the Fish Quarantine Station, Jambi Quality Control and Fisheries Control (SKIPM).
The incident came to light during police patrolling around Lambur Luar Village, East Sabak Sub-district, East Tanjungjabung District, Thursday, in the morning of Apr 18.
Three cars halting on the highway drew the suspicion of the police. When the police approached the cars and was about to check it, its owner fled.
Results of the inspection revealed that lobster seeds were packaged in 1,238 plastic bags placed in 35 styrofoam boxes. The police is still conducting a search of the perpetrators.
Rina noted that the lobster seeds are included in the type of maritime products banned from capture based on Ministerial Regulation No. 56 of 2016 on prohibition on capture and/or export of lobster, mud crab, and blue swimming crab from Indonesian waters.
"In line with the applicable regulations, catching of lobsters weighing below 200 grams is prohibited, so it is crucial to maintain their sustainability," she emphasized.
In accordance with this regulation, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti released the lobster seeds seized in Jambi on Friday (Apr 19) afternoon.
"It is expected that no one will attempt to catch lobster seeds like this. Let the baby lobsters reach adulthood, so they can breed. If baby lobsters are caught, then where will we get lobsters from? Let us go watch together," Minister Pudjiastuti ordered.