Encourage fishermen to be active in North Natuna Sea: Expert

Encourage fishermen to be active in North Natuna Sea: Expert

Archives: International Law expert of the University of Indonesia Hikmahanto Juwana. (ANTARA FOTO/Puspa Perwitasari/wsj/pri).

Chinese warships are not supposed to be in the open seas except if the ships are en route to a particular destination as the main function of a military ship is for national defense purposes
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The University of Indonesia's (UI's) international law professor Hikmahanto Juwana has urged the Indonesian government to encourage fishermen to harness Indonesia's maritime resources in North Natuna Sea's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) by providing them subsidies and incentives.

"The government could also deploy our Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla) boats to ensure the safety of our fishermen when they are active in the EEZ," Juwana noted in a statement received here, Saturday.

Chinese warships and Coast Guard boats will certainly continue their intrusion into the Indonesian EEZ as long as they hold their nine-dash line maritime claim, he remarked.

"China will not relinquish its nine-dash line maritime claim despite the Permanent Court of Arbitration having decided in 2016 that their claim had no lawful effect under the UNCLOS basis," the professor stated.


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Despite the necessity to protect Indonesia's fishermen and counter Chinese warships' intimidation, Indonesian Navy ships could not be deployed to drive out foreign boats as their activities are within the open seas, he noted.

"From China's own perspective, their fishermen's boats are not intruding into foreign territory and committing illegal fishing, as their activities are conducted within what they claim as their traditional fishing ground of the nine-dash line claim," Juwana expounded.

The professor suspects that the deployment of Chinese warships in the North Natuna Sea aims to contend with the presence of Indonesian navy boats patrolling the sea to take action against the Chinese fishing boats.


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"Chinese warships are not supposed to be in the open seas except if the ships are en route to a particular destination as the main function of a military ship is for national defense purposes," Juwana stated.

Earlier, Indonesian fishermen reported that Chinese warships and Coast Guard boats had attempted to intimidate them while they were fishing in the North Natuna Sea.

The action of Chinese warships in Indonesia's EEZ is not in violation of the international maritime law as EEZ is an open sea beyond the scope of national sovereignty.


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