"I reaffirm my commitment to protecting nature, as it should be preserved for our next generation of children, grandchildren, fishermen, and for the future. However, (lobster seeds) are one of our potential export commodities and when banned from being traded overseas, many people had suffered owing to their livelihoods being lost," Prabowo told the press at the Maritime and Investment Coordinating Ministry's office in Jakarta.
Despite the debates, Prabowo said he had yet to reach a final decision on lifting the ban, as the ministry was currently seeking suggestion from experts.
"For instance, we farm lobster seeds here in Indonesia, and we restrict the export figure by imposing a quota. Moreover, five percent of the total yield that comprises three- to four-month-old lobsters will be returned to the wild. According to some experts, this move will maintain the sustainability of lobsters in the ecosystem," he stated.
If the ban was lifted, Prabowo's move may annul the former minister Susi Pudjiastuti's efforts to safeguard the lobster population in Indonesia's waters. During her term in office in July this year, Pudjiastuti affirmed that the illegal trade of lobster seeds had impacted fishermen since the commodity's price was far lower than that of mature lobsters.
To this end, Pudjiastuti passed Ministerial Regulation No. 56 of 2016 to legally ban the catching of undersized lobsters and hatching crab in the Indonesian waters. Following the regulation, in 2019, the police had seized some 1.6 million illegal lobster seeds valued at some Rp260 billion.
Related news: No more lobster seeds catching, Fisheries Minister says
Related news: Police thwarts smuggling of Rp30.8 billion worth of lobster seeds