African countries are having the same experience as Indonesia faced five years ago
Jakarta (ANTARA) - African countries should not issue fishing permits to foreign vessels in their territory because it could potentially harm the country, Indonesian Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti has warned. African countries are having the same experience as Indonesia faced five years ago," she said on the sidelines of opening international training and workshops for participants from several countries including those of Africa at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP), here, Monday.

Susi spoke about her experiences during her first period as Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries in November 2014. She found that nearly 10 thousand ex-foreign fishing vessels were operating in various territorial waters of the Republic of Indonesia.

However, since only about 1,300 of those had permits, one can conclude that vessel owners illegally duplicated the permissions that should only be for one ship, Susi continued.

Thereafter, she issued a moratorium and launched other measures to eradicate illegal fishing. As a result, these outcomes could also be felt and shared with other countries.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian Government will hold an international training program in the fisheries sector, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Secretary-General, Nilanto Perbowo stated. "This training program is under South-South cooperation," he added.

The training will be held in several cities such as Tegal, Central Java, and Yogyakarta from July 22 to 28, 2019 and will be attended by 15 people from countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Africa, and the Middle East.

Based on the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries data, from 2014 until now there have been 516 ships that have been sunk for illegal fishing in various Indonesian waters.

"Ships that have been destroyed or submerged since October 2014 to date is 516," Acting Director-General of KKP Marine and Fisheries Resources Supervision, Agus Suherman remarked.

The 516 vessels consisted of 294 from Vietnam, 92 from the Philippines, 76 from Malaysia, 23 from Thailand, two from Papua New Guinea, one each from China, Nigeria, and Belize, and 26 from Indonesia.

Meanwhile, from January to June 2019, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries has captured 67 illegal vessels consisting of 17 from Malaysia, 15 from Vietnam, three from the Philippines, and 32 from Indonesia.

"The success in catching fishing vessels for illegal fishing is inseparable from the integrated monitoring system of air surveillance, surveillance vessel operations at sea, and fishing vessel monitoring system (VMS)," Agus stated.

In line with the effort, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries in collaboration with the Task Force 115, the Attorney General's Office and other relevant agencies have also eliminated 28 illegal fishing vessels that have obtained court decisions from January to June 2019.

Translator: Razi Rahman / Azis Kurmala
Editor: Bambang Purwanto
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