Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - Illegal fishing is still rife in the coastal waters of Wakatobi, Southeast Sulawesi province, although radar and remote sensing equipment had been installed there, Southeast Sulawesi legislative member Nursalam Lada said here on Wednesday.

Wakatobi is made up of small islands and covers 1.5 million hectares, including 1.3 hectares of a National Sea Park.

"To secure such wide area, high speed transportation means like helicopters are needed to catch the illegal fishermen and people causing serious damage to the coral reefs," he said.

In the meantime, the Japanese government assisted Wakatobi regency administration with radars and remote sensing equipment.

Regent Hugua said the Japanese government provided the assistance because they also cared for the safety and preservation of the coral reefs in the world coral reef triangle.

Damaged to the coral reefs in Wakatobi, he said, will also affect Japan`s coastal areas.

"The world coral reef triangle, especially in Wakatobi, contained various potential natural resources of the life of millions of people," he said. (*)

Editor: Kunto Wibisono
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