Labuan Bajo (ANTARA) - The Air and Water Police Unit (Satpolairud) of West Manggarai called on coastal residents of Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), to not use illegal explosives, fish bombs, and fishing gear while at sea.

"Fishing with explosives and other illicit gear can destroy the marine habitat, especially in Labuan Bajo City, a high premium tourism destination that preserves its underwater beauty. Hopefully, people won't do anything deviant," West Manggarai Regional Police Satpolairud Head Police Commissioner Adjutant (AKP) I Wayan Merta remarked.

Merta made the statement while holding a community policing for coastal fishermen at the Fish Auction Pier (TPI) of Kampung Ujung, West Manggarai District, East Nusa Tenggara.

He explained that the use of illegal fish bombs and fishing gear can damage the environment and marine life that can threaten the sustainability of marine resources.

In addition to damaging the environment, using explosives is unlawful and can endanger the one using it as well as others.

"To preserve the marine environment, we encourage to always utilize fishing gear that is environmentally benign and does not break the law," he remarked.

In an effort to maintain the sustainability of marine resources and counter illegal fishing practices, the fishing community is expected to play an active role by reporting suspicious activities at sea to law enforcement officials, especially Satpolairud of the West Manggarai Departmental Police.

"If anyone is desperate to use explosives, we will take firm action. Criminal (will face) above 10 years in prison based on Emergency Law Number 12 of 1951 concerning firearms and explosives," Merta remarked.

He also emphasized the importance of cleanliness of the surrounding area and invited the community to not dispose garbage at sea, especially plastic waste.

"Because plastic waste will not change its shape, so it will cause residues that can damage the environment," he cautioned.

Furthermore, he invited the coastal residents to create a safe and conducive situation for a healthy aquatic ecosystem, especially in Labuan Bajo.

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Translator: Gecio Viana, Yuni Arisandy
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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