"There are five reasons why the boat sinking policy will not worsen international relations," Juwana, the dean of international law of the University of Indonesia (UI), stated here on Friday.
Firstly, no country in the world allows its citizens to commit crimes in other countries. Foreign fishing boats that would be sunk are the ones without permit to catch fish in Indonesian waters. They commit crimes because they operate illegally in the Indonesian maritime territory.
Secondly, the government will sink them in Indonesian territories of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Thirdly, the sanction is based on Indonesian Fishery Law 2009s Chapter 69, Article 4. Before 2009, any action to sink poaching boats could only be carried out based on the courts verdict.
The fourth reason is that any country that lodges a protest, must first understand that poaching activities by foreign fishing boats have caused huge material losses to Indonesia.
Allowing foreign boats to poach in Indonesian waters will lead to bigger losses to the country.
Lastly, the government will be heedful to the safety of the crew members, despite the decision to sink their boats.
The government of President Jokowi is committed to taking the strongest possible action against foreign illegal fishing vessels, warning that Indonesia will not hesitate to even sink them if necessary.
Following reports that at least 5.5 thousand vessels indulged in illegal fishing and inflicted a loss of Rp300 trillion per year on the state, Jokowi has stated that the concerned authorities will sink the fishing boats poaching in Indonesian waters, albeit after firstly taking their crew into custody.
Indonesian Military (TNI) Chief General Moeldoko revealed that the TNI has been looking for the best possible way to sink foreign vessels found fishing illegally in Indonesian waters.
"Following Jokowis instruction to sink foreign illegal fishing vessels, I have requested the Navy chief of staff to find the best possible way to carry out the presidents order," Moeldoko noted.(*)