JAKARTA, March 18, 2013 (ANTARA) -- The Ministry of Maritime and Fisheries Affairs (KKP) has successfully released eleven (11) Langkat, North Sumatra-originated fishermen, who were caught by Malaysian authorities on 1st March 2013. This success is due to the relentless effort initiated by the Minister of Maritime and Fisheries, Sharif C. Sutardjo, to protect the Indonesian fishermen. Sharif held a crucial meeting with the Malaysian Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia, TYT Dato' Syed Munshe Afdzaruddin Syed Hassan on March 11, 2013, to discuss the liberation of the detained fishermen, which would then be reported to the prime minister of Malaysia.

According to Sharif, the meeting finally resulted that the 11 detained fishermen would be soon set free. Finally, on March 15, 2013 at 16.00 local time, they went back home on their two (2) vessels to Indonesia in the Perikanan Samudera Harbor (PPS), Belawan. The deliverance of 11 fishermen was fully strengthened by the advocacy support provided by Directorate-General of Marine and Fishery Resource Monitoring (PSDKP), supported by the Consulate General of Republic of Indonesia in Penang, Malaysia. "We really appreciate the determination and the effort done by KKP, particularly PSDKP, who has wholeheartedly been by our side to undertake the advocacy process to our fishermen during the detainment," said Sharif.

Sharif emphasizes, the protection for the fishermen is a vital effort for KKP. This task is the implementation of the Presidential instruction No. 15 of 2011 on the Protection for Fishermen. Wherever the fishermen set sail, they must be protected by the government, including the accusation of the illegal fishing by other countries. And, the success of the deliverance of the 11 fishermen is just another example of the KKP's fishermen protection effort. This effort is a form of the government's concerns for the sake of the Indonesian fishermen. "KKP always gives the preventive move by initiating the founding and the socialization on the Fishery Management Area of Republic of Indonesia. But, if it turns out that some fishermen get caught, we will proactively work closely with the competent ones, which is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to pursue the repatriation of the fishermen,” explained him.

Illegal fishing accusation

Meanwhile, the Director General of PSDKP, Syahrin Abdurahman, stated that the 11 fishermen that were caught by the Malaysian authorities, because they were accused performing illegal fishing in the Fishery Management Area od Malaysia. They were detained about 60 miles off of the Pangkalan Brandan, Langkat Regency, earlier in March. Meanwhile, their vessel is classified as a small vessel weighting about 6 tons gross. The 11 fishermen that got arrested including Helmi Suheri, Muhammad Amin, Juhaeri, Vikindra (from Belawan Village, Medan, who got arrested on 1st March 2013) and Iwan, Darwidin, Amri, Ahmad Dani, Zakaria, Muhammad Rio, and Hasanuddin (from Sei Lepan sub-district, Langkat Regency, who got arrested on 2nd March 2013). "Upon the arrival in PPS Belawan, they were welcome by Directorate-General PSDKP officers on behalf of The Ministry of Maritime and Fisheries Affairs, who in turn, will hand over the fishermen to their families," adds Syahrin.

Syahrin adds, in 2012, Directorate-General PSDKP cooperating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have successfully repatriated 293 (two hundred ninety three) fishermen caught/detained abroad. Referring to the figures, 137 fishermen were repatriated from Malaysia, 115 fishermen from Australia, 20 fishermen from Republic of Palau, 7 fishermen from Papua New Guinea, and the rest 14 fishermen from Timor Leste. Additionally, PSDKP continues to implement the lower-class fishermen protection policy that has already been applied by the entire crew of the Monitoring Fishery Boat. "This policy is meant to support the Monitoring Fishery crew in order to protect lower-class fishermen," asserted him.

For more information, please contact Indra Sakti, SE, MM, The Head of Statistic and Information Center, The Ministry of Maritime and Fisheries Affairs. (Ph. 0818159705)

Editor: PR Wire
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