Manado, North Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and Malaysia have agreed not to arrest fishermen using boats weighing below 10 gross tons (GT), Indonesian minister of fisheries and marine resources Sharif Cicip Sutardjo said.

"Indonesia and Malaysia have signed a bilateral agreement on not arresting fishermen using boats below 10 GT," he said at the dedication of the building of the Secretariat of Regional Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fishery and Food Security (CTI-CFF) here on Saturday.

He said the agreement was effective for fishermen from both countries.

He hoped with the agreement Indonesian fishermen could collect more catch as they now need not be worried about the possibility of being put in jail by Malaysian authorities for trespassing territorial borders.

Sutardjo however said it was impossible to improve the welfare of fishermen only through catch. He said there must be industrialization.

He hoped the industrialization could soon be realized as an integrated concept to provide enough supplies to meet domestic and foreign markets.

"The Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam are able to export more than Indonesia and therefore an integrated concept is needed to boost production capacity," he said.

Sutardjo said Thailand could collect US$8 billion in foreign exchange from exports of fish while Vietnam almost US$5 billion but Indonesia only US$2.8 billion.

He said all parties had to pay attention to the problem.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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