Natuna Waters will still be Bakamla's priority next year
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla) has said that safeguarding the Natuna waters in Riau Islands will remain its priority in 2022.

"Natuna Waters will still be Bakamla's priority next year," the agency's head, Vice Admiral Aan Kurnia, said at the commemoration of the 16th anniversary of Bakamla here on Wednesday.

Bakamla, he said, cannot work alone in securing the Natuna Waters. It would need to cooperate with other institutions, such as the Indonesian Navy, he noted.

"Therefore, we must increase synergy in operations to secure border areas," he added.

Related news: Government should bolster security in Natuna waters: MPR Deputy Chief

According to Kurnia, with the development of science and technology, maritime challenges will increase in the future.

Bakamla has been mandated by President Joko Widodo as the embryo of Indonesia's coast guard, he said.

"This means that in the future, Bakamla will fully carry out the duties and roles of the coast guard, namely security, safety, and defense; in this case, as a reserve component of the Indonesian Navy in times of war," he added.

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Therefore, Bakamla's human resources must have excellent knowledge, skills, and physical abilities, like military soldiers, he said.

The Natuna waters are prone to illegal fishing by foreign vessels.

Last Friday (December 24, 2021), Bakamla seized a Vietnamese-flagged illegal fishing boat in the North Natuna Sea, Riau Islands.

The North Natuna Sea is one of the waters considered vulnerable to illegal activities and the area has, therefore, become a priority for 2022, Kurnia explained.

Related news: Vietnamese-flagged boat detained for poaching in North Natuna waters

Related news: Five Vietnamese-flagged fishing boats detained by KKP in Natuna waters

Translator: Syaiful Hakim, Sri Haryati
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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