Badung, Bali (ANTARA) - In a bid to curb illegal fishing, Indonesia's Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry pursues negotiations for more catch quota for bluefin tuna.

"We will fight for it because the ones deciding it are (members of) the international (community). We do negotiations and lobbying with many stakeholders," Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Sakti Wahyu Trenggono stated in Bali on Wednesday.

Trenggono made the statement at the National Tuna Conference and International Tuna Business Forum.

The international forum regulating the quote of bluefin tuna catch per year is the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT).

The minister affirmed that the negotiation is an effort to reach a just quota, so there would be no disparity with other countries. He cited the example of Australia that has a catch quota of six thousand tons for bluefin tuna per year.

"Must be fair. If it is not fair, then there might be risk of distortion," he pointed out.

Disparity in the bluefin tuna catch quota from one country to the other can lead to some risks, such as illegal trade, and even unreported fishing, Minister Trenggono cautioned.

During the 2018-2020 period, the total allowable catch for bluefin tuna per year for Indonesia was 1,023 tons.

The quota then increased to 1,123 tons for the 2021-2023 period following intense negotiations.

Southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii) is one type of fish, with a high economic value. In January 2020, one tuna of that kind, weighing at 276 kg, was sold for Rp25 billion (US$1.7 million) at the Toyosu Fish Market, Tokyo, Japan.

Managing tuna fisheries is regulated by the Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMO), while the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna is responsible for the management of bluefin tuna stocks throughout its distribution.

Indonesia has been a member of CCSBT since 2008 in accordance with Presidential Regulation number 109 of 2007 on Ratification of the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna.

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Translator: Dewa Ketut SW, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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