Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Coordinating Maritime Affairs Ministry will crack down on ships causing oil spills in Indonesia's waters on November 1 after two oil spill disasters in Batam and Bintan had affected marine life in the past.

"On November 1, we will launch the standard operational procedure to crack down on the ships," Brahmantya Satyamuri Poerwadi, the ministry's marine space management director general, stated after attending a coordination meeting chaired by Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan here, Friday.

Poerwadi confirmed the formalization of the operational procedure into a ministerial regulation that will realign some rules on the ships’ monitoring system, automated tracking technology, and boat's anchor system.

He explained that the ministry will also plan to connect its satellite to other satellites operated by the Indonesian Navy and National Institute of Aeronautics and Space.

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"The procedures, set by the ministry, will also ban ships from spilling oil and restrict boats to drop their anchors in Indonesia's waters," the director general explained.

In accordance with the law, the country's naval forces had cracked down on some foreign boats for dropping down their anchors in Indonesian waters. During the last six months, navy officers had secured 12 boats in Indonesia's waters near the cities of Batam and Bintan.

"We have cleared the area of ships that allegedly spill oil into the sea. The rule is simple that no ship is allowed to pollute the waters with fuel," Navy's Fleet I Chief Rear Adm. Yudo Margono stated in Jakarta.

He pointed out that some ships might tend to adopt a quicker and more instant move of illegally spilling oil into the sea rather than hire a professional oil tank cleaning service, as the latter option was more expensive than the former.

The waters in the Batam and Bintan areas were susceptible to being misused as a dump site for ships to spill their oil before entering Singapore's territory. The country's authority only permitted ships with clean oil tank to enter Singapore's waters, Margono elaborated.

Bintan and Batam are cities in Riau Province that share their borders with Singapore.

Hence, in future, Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Ministry will share its list of registered oil tank-cleaning service with the boat operators. In Riau Province, at least four oil tank-cleaning services are available for use.

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Translator: Ade irma Junida/Genta Tenri Ma
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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