Jakarta (ANTARA) - Marine Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti has reaffirmed the ban to catch lobster seed as it would endanger the species' population in the country's waters.

Pudjiastuti said in a statement here on Sunday, illegal selling of lobster seeds would be a loss for fishermen with its far cheaper price compared to mature lobsters.

"A lobster seed was sold at Rp3,000, Rp10 thousand, Rp30 thousand. While the price of a mature lobster is equal to the price of 30 kg, 40 kg, 50 kg of fish," the minister said.

She expressed hope that lobster seeds that have been released to its habitat would only be caught when its has grown into mature lobsters.

According to Pudjiastuti, the smuggling of lobster seeds was not a new issue in the country. However, such illegal practise got less attention from the public.

The minister has reiterated her commitment to take stern measures against the smugglers.

The Ministerial Regulation no. 56/2016 has banned catching of undersized lobster and and hatching crab in Indonesian waters.

Earlier, Pudjiastuti said that the sea is the only natural resource accessible for the community thus it would be important to preserve its wealth.

"The only natural resource that can be accessed by all people without high capital is fishery. Mining, it is possible for the public to access it," she noted.

The minister supported President Joko Widodo's vision to preserve the sea as the nation's future as agricultural land has continued to decrease.

The Jambi Police and the Ministry have succeeded in thwarting an attempt to smuggle over 205 thousand lobster seeds valued at some Rp30.8 billion.

The juvenile lobsters were allegedly transported from Java Island and collected temporarily in Jambi prior to the plan to smuggle them through the Jambi eastern coast to Batam and Singapore.

In 2019, the police had seized some 1.6 million lobster seeds valued at some Rp260 billion.

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Translator: M Razi Rahman, Sri Haryati
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
Copyright © ANTARA 2019