The number of Indonesian fishermen found trespassing the territories of other countries is still high, director of violation handling at the Marine Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, Teuku Elvitrasyah, said in a press statement released in Jakarta on Wednesday.
"Some of our fishermen are facing legal process in Malaysia, India, Thailand, and Papua New Guinea. Their number is about 68," he informed.
In the past three years, 140 Indonesian fishermen have been arrested in several countries, he said.
Therefore, the ministry has continued to implement different approaches to improve the fishermen’s understanding and awareness, he added.
One such approach involved familiarizing fishermen with the ban on trespassing the territory of other countries during a meeting held in Rayeuk, East Aceh district, Aceh province.
"This is our effort to nurture Indonesian fishermen so other countries will not arrest them any longer for violating state borders," Elvitrasyah said.
Many traditional Indonesian fishermen have been arrested abroad in the past because they did not clearly know Indonesia's sea borders with other countries, he pointed out.
This happened because they were not equipped with navigation and communication devices and did not have sea maps, he said.
"It is necessary for them to understand technical matters related to territorial borders so they will no longer violate the state borders," he added.
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