Jakarta (ANTARA) - Marine Affairs and Fisheries Minister Edhy Prabowo echoed the government’s intent to grant seized fishing vessels, for which final court rulings were already passed, to fishermen and institutions.

Prabowo divulged the government’s plan at a meeting led by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan on Tuesday, in which the attendees comprised Finance Minister Sri Mulyani and Attorney General ST Burhanuddin.

"We are optimistic that (the ships) would be useful. We will take a decision on which ships to hand over based on those for which the final and binding court ruling had been passed and to whom we will grant (the vessels), for instance, to fishermen," he stated.

Prabowo remarked that final court rulings had already been passed for 72 fishing ships, of which 45 are in good condition, six are not seaworthy and should be destroyed, and the rest are in less prime condition.

The government is yet contemplating on the most eligible parties to grant the ships, be it fishermen, local governments, or colleges.

He affirmed that the government will regularly monitor to ascertain that the ships will not be sold to its original owners.

"We will conduct checks on a monthly or bimonthly basis to check whether the ships are useful," he revealed.

Apart from the seized ships, the government will also be in charge of managing neglected foreign ships at some ports.

"There are many foreign ships, for which we require to find a solution, so they would not overcrowd the port," Prabowo remarked.

The earlier policy to blow up the ships will still be followed, barring the clause that fishing ships in good condition will not be destroyed since they can be useful for fishermen, Prabowo stated.
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Translator: Mentari DG, Sri Haryati
Editor: Suharto
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