Sungailiat, Bangka (ANTARA) - Minister for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Sakti Wahyu Trenggono has asked the Bangka Belitung Islands government to maintain seawater conservation on account of the daily ship traffic in the area’s waters.

More than 100 thousand ships are operating every day in the Indonesian sea waters, he informed.

"The hundreds of thousands of ships with various capacities and loads operating in Indonesian waters are based on satellite recordings," he said during a working visit to Bangka District on Wednesday.

Ships using diesel fuel threaten the preservation of oxygen in the sea, which is needed by humans, he added. Therefore, marine conservation must be carried out to maintain the sea condition.

"Including Bangka Belitung Province that must preserve its marine conservation since it is not included in the deep sea," he said.

In addition, the minister also asked the Directorate General of Maritime and Fisheries Resources Supervision to assist government-owned mining company PT Timah Tbk in its operations to utilize the economic value taken by the company.

He further said he understood that the burden borne by PT Timah in carrying out the reclamation of the former tin ore mining area in marine waters has involved quite a large budget.

"The reclamation of former tin ore mining in the sea must be maintained together. It cannot be damaged by community activities," the minister emphasized.

Tin ore mining in the sea can not only have an impact on the environment, but also result in a decrease in the catch of fishermen since they cannot hunt fish in the mining area, he explained.

"We must eliminate the impact of mining in sea waters and strengthen efforts to add economic value for the community's welfare. On the other hand, we must immediately return the affected environment to its original condition," he said.

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Translator: Kasmono, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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