Jakarta (ANTARA) - Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti encourages the National Police (Polri) officers to conduct a comprehensive investigation against the perpetrators of various illegal activities in Indonesia's seas to support national sovereignty.

In a press release that ANTARA received here on Sunday, Susi said that the police had a very important role to play in maintaining Indonesia's sovereignty.

She raised the issue while delivering a public lecture at Polri's High Staff and Command School (Sespimti) in Jakarta, on Friday (June 28).

On that occasion, the minister emphasized the important role of the police to take action against foreign fishing boat owners who carry out illegal activities in Indonesian waters.

This reflects on her experience in handling the case of a large fish carrier loaded with 3,000 tons of fish in Sabang, Aceh Province, as well as other vessels such as MV Viking and STS 50 some time ago.

Minister Susi said that even though she managed to capture those vessels and confiscate a cargo of fish worth Rp20billion in it, real ship owners and masterminds had not been dragged by law enforcers.

She revealed that the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) has limitations in handling similar cases, because it is only able to punish field actors.

Therefore, she said, the police are expected to be able to fill the role in taking action against the ship owners who are perpetrators of illegal activities in the sea and other masterminds of those acts of crime.

In overcoming the issue, education in police institutions must be improved to enable the police investigators to handle various crime cases in the sea.

"(One of the main requirements in) developed countries, modern countries, and prosperous countries is the law enforcement which strives to go in a direction with integrity," she noted.

Conducting a full and comprehensive investigation against the perpetrators of crimes in the sea is very important to support growth in marine and fisheries sectors.

Therefore, the ministry continues carrying out policies in combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

"The keys to eradicating the IUU fishing are national policy and strong political support. We encourage countries to make strict policies, invest in increasing law enforcement capacity, and take stern law enforcement measures to close doors the occurrence of IUU fishing," the ministry's Research and HR Agency Head Sjarief Widjaja explained.

According to Sjarief, eradicating IUU fishing through various regional and international cooperation forums is important because the perpetrators are often cross-country.

In addition, he said, illegal fishing activities were also carried out by foreign ships with crews from various nationalities.

Translator: M. Razi Rahman/Yashinta Difa P
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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