TEMPO.CO, Yogyakarta – The ship-sinking policy recently issued by Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti has sparked controversies as some have criticized that the minister only dares sink small ships.
In response to the criticism, Susi said the ships were larger than those owned by local fishermen. For instance, a foreign ship that was sunken previously had a deadweight of 70 gross tonnage (GT), which was larger than the average weight of local fishermen ships.
“In Cilacap, the size [of local ships] is only 30 GT. In Pangandaran, the average size is only 5-10 GT. So, we sank a pretty big ship compared to ours,” Susi said in Yogyakarta on Wednesday, December 10, 2014.
Susi challenged people who questioned her move to see the proof for themselves. According to Susi, big fish poachers do not necessarily use big ships in their operations.
Susi added they deployed smaller ships to poach fishes while larger ships were waiting on the border. Susi predicted that illegal fishing activities had cost the state Rp300 trillion (US$25 billion).