Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries bestowed awards on three inspiring figures in the field of blue economy in recognition of their roles in the development of the national marine and fisheries sector.

The awards were conferred on the late former president Abdurrahman Wahid, also known as Gus Dur; the late inaugural marine and fisheries minister Sarwono Kusumaatmadja; and diplomat and maritime law expert Hasjim Djalal.

"The award is the ministry's expression of gratitude and appreciation to the inspiring figures for their contribution to the development of Indonesia's marine and fisheries sector at the national and global level," Marine and Fisheries Minister Sakti Wahyu Trenggono noted as per the statement here on Saturday.

The minister expressed his admiration for the three inspiring figures, calling them his teachers in the efforts to transform the governance of Indonesia's marine and fisheries sector.

"I deeply respect Gus Dur as well as Mr Sarwono and Professor Hasjim," Trenggono remarked.

Yenny Wahid, who represented her father at the awarding event, stated that her father had the vision to develop the maritime sector as a milestone of Indonesia's economy and diplomatic strategy.

During his tenure as president, Abdurrahman Wahid established the Department of Marine Exploration in 1999 to realize advanced and sustainable marine and fisheries governance in Indonesia.

The department established by Wahid was the direct predecessor of the current marine and fisheries ministry.

Meanwhile, Djalal, who as a diplomat was credited to realize global recognition of Indonesia's status as an archipelagic state, also expressed his gratitude to the ministry.

"Nusantara is not only the land but also contains the sea and air. Hence, for the last decades, we actively defend our sovereignty in the sea and the surface. We have also achieved recognition from the international community," Djalal stated.

Moreover, Krisnan Kusumaatmadja, who represented his father at the ceremony, said that his father is committed to real actions for Indonesia's marine and fisheries sector.

"What he fought for was realized through real actions. He dared to act or decide on actions that might be something new in his era, but it will be useful in the future," he remarked.

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Translator: Sinta Ambarwati, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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