Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry will add one more first-class surveillance ship from Japan to improve the monitoring of national marine resources in North Natuna Sea.

The surveillance ship, Shirahagi Maru, which has been provided by Japan, measures 63 meters in length. It is scheduled to arrive in Indonesia in September 2023, and will be rechristened Orca 06.

"What already arrived in Indonesia is surveillance ship Orca 05, whereas Orca 06 is still in Japan. It is scheduled to arrive in Indonesia by September," Director General of Marine and Fish Resources Monitoring at the ministry Adin Nurawaluddin informed here on Friday.

The ministry brought surveillance ship Orca 05, previously named Hakurei Maru, from Japan on June 18, 2023.

In an official press release issued on Friday, Nurawaluddin informed that the new surveillance ship is currently undergoing maintenance at Niigata Shipbuilding and Repair.

The ship's framework, engines, propulsion, and navigation systems are undergoing maintenance and improvement, along with its communication system, deck, and accommodation, he added.

After considering its condition, the extent of waters that must be monitored, number of fishing boats, conservation areas, as well as risks of violations, the new surveillance ship Orca 06 will be placed in the first zone of the industrial catch area in North Natuna Sea, he informed.

According to Nurawaluddin, North Natuna Sea presents its own challenge. The ministry needs to monitor at least 16 thousand fishing ships in the area, which spans some 703 thousand square kilometers, he said.

Moreover, North Natuna Sea borders a neighboring country, thus making the area prone to more violations compared to other seas, he added.

He cited 2022 data from the ministry, which showed that throughout that year, the ministry detected at least 23 thousand boats carrying out illegal fishing.

It is expected that the new surveillance ship will have the capability to prevent such occurrences in North Natuna waters, he added.

He affirmed that the ship has better specifications that will allow it to monitor the waters for a prolonged time.

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Translator: Sinta Ambarwati, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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