Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Embassy (KBRI) in Port Moresby aided the repatriation of 28 Indonesian fishermen of KMN Sanjaya 108 ship arrested for illegal entry and illegal fishing (IUU fishing) in the Papua New Guinea (PNG) waters.

Those fishermen were repatriated aboard a direct flight from Port Moresby to Denpasar on Sunday (August 20, 2023), the embassy noted in a statement received here on Monday.

"Given the strict application of the law related to the crime of IUU Fishing and the lack of proper detention facilities, I urge Indonesian fishermen to not carry out fishing activities without a permit in the Papua New Guinean waters," Indonesian Ambassador to PNG Andriana Supandi remarked.

The ship, with a capacity of 150 gross tonnage (GT), caught 49 tons of fish before being captured in the PNG waters on June 6, 2023, for allegedly violating territorial boundaries and illegal fishing.

The embassy noted that this case was one of the most high-profile cases of IUU fishing in PNG.

The entire crew of the Sanjaya 108 ship had to undergo the legal process in PNG. They were fined and sanctioned a subsidiary prison term.

The Indonesian Embassy in Port Moresby stated that it had handled the KMN Sanjaya ship case intensively since they received information on their arrest, including providing assistance and translation services during the legal process, offering logistical assistance, and visiting the correctional institution.

The embassy had also encouraged the ship company to provide legal service and be responsible for legal consequences set by the courts in PNG.

The ship company was willing to pay a fine and finance the entire repatriation process of the 28 Indonesian fishermen, according to the statement.

The Indonesian embassy in Port Moresby and related ministries or institutions are committed to increasing Indonesian understanding and awareness as well as improving the regulation and supervision of Indonesian fishermen's activities in the Indonesia-PNG border areas, it stated.

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Reporter: Shofi Ayudiana
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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