"During my discussion with the president, I have emphasized that sinking foreign fishing vessels caught fishing illegally will be the best possible deterrent and simplify matters for (the Indonesian people) to tackle problems (such as illegal fishing) that have persisted since long," Minister Pudjiastuti noted in the official social media accounts of the Marine and Fisheries (KKP) on Saturday morning.
Minister Pudjiastuti, along with the ranks of the Marine and Fisheries Ministry (KKP) and the Anti Illegal Fishing Task Force, are presently in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, to oversee the sinking of illegal fishing boats.
The minister noted that the deterrent effect was currently apparent from thousands of foreign fishing vessels no longer found fishing in the Indonesian waters. Presently, merely several hundred vessels have been seized.
"If we fail to remain firm, that figure of several hundred could grow to thousands of ships," she remarked, adding that the eradication of perpetrators of fishery thefts had an effect on the fish stocks.
The maritime affairs and fisheries minister further reiterated that President Jokowi's commitment to this end was also serious, such as by setting up a Task Force, so that sectoral ego can be eliminated in future along with prioritizing the interests of the state to put an end to illegal fishing.
As declared, the government's steady focus to eradicate illegal fishing in Indonesian waters has helped to boost fish catches by small fishermen, as fish stocks are also increasingly sustainable.
"In the small fishermen's category, the number of fish catches has risen in some waters, influenced by the migration of fish resources and the several initiatives to improve the sustainability of mangrove forests in some coastal areas," Abdul Halim, executive director of the Center for Maritime Studies for Humanity, noted.
The KKP had earlier also stated that the target to end illegal fishing in the archipelago's waters had caused a notable increase in the potential of fishery resources in the Indonesian sea.
"To maintain the pillar of sovereignty, the KKP continues to direct its efforts on eradicating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing," Head of Marine and Fisheries Human Resources Research and Resources (BRSDM) of KKP Sjarief Widjaja noted.
Widjaja explained that by eradicating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing (IUUF), fish stocks in the waters had risen considerably, marked by a dramatic increase in the number of Indonesia's potential fish resources (Maximum Sustainable Yield / MSY), from only 7.31 million tons in 2013 to 12.5 million tons in 2016.