Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry (KKP) recently arrested four fishermen for allegedly carrying out blast fishing in the Kokoila Island waters of Morowali District, Central Sulawesi Province.

"The blast fishing can damage and even destroy our marine ecosystem, particularly coral reefs," the ministry's acting Director General of Marine Resources and Fisheries Supervision Pung Nugroho Saksono cautioned.

The suspects, only identified as T alias PR (45), A (18), R (18), and A (14), were arrested by a team of the ministry's Marine Resources and Fisheries Supervision Office in Bitung, North Sulawesi, he remarked here, Monday.

Saksono, however, did not elaborate on when the four fishermen were arrested. He merely stated that the ministry's officials in Bitung apprehended the suspect for an investigation after receiving a report on them from other fishermen.

During their arrest, the ministry's officials seized two fishing boats and several goods, including a compressor, two compressor cable rolls, two pairs of diving fins, two scuba diving masks, and 300 kg of fish, he revealed.

The officials' preliminary result of the investigation showed that the suspects carried two five-liter jerry cans and three bottles of blast fishing materials that they had exploded for poaching in the waters of Lunas Balu and Menui Kepulauan Islands of Morowali District, he remarked.

Related news: Navy arrests fisherman over fish bombing charges in East Flores

The suspects have been charged with violating Article 84 (1) and Article 8 (1) of Indonesia's Law No. 31 of 2004 on Fisheries, he added.

As an archipelagic country, Indonesia is blessed with vast and deep coral reefs. However, they are facing increased threats.

A study about the Economic Analysis of Indonesian Coral Reefs conducted by Herman Cesar in 1996 revealed that the threats are mostly posed by humans conducting activities, such as blast fishing, poison fishing, and overfishing, as well as for tourism development.

Based on ANTARA's observation, the arrest of T alias PR, A, R, and A has extended the list of blast fishing cases in Indonesia.

On April 11, 2021, for instance, five local fishermen were caught by the Environment and Forestry Ministry's law enforcement personnel for conducting blast fishing in the waters of the Komodo National Park's conservation area.

Thereafter, on January 23, 2024, the East Nusa Tenggara police arrested three fishermen for a blast fishing case in the Tanjung Oepao waters of Rote Ndao District, East Nusa Tenggara Province.

Related news: Patrol team arrests two fishermen on charges of blast fishing

Translator: Sinta A, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Copyright © ANTARA 2024