TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian fisheries watchdog, Destructive Fishing Watch (DFW), coordinator Abdi Suhufan said that illegal fishing committed by foreign boats are still rampant.
“To March 19, 2019, the KKP (Marine Affairs and Fisheries Ministry) has seized 16 foreign boats illegally fishing in Indonesian seas,” said Abdi on Monday, March 25.
Following the fact, his NGO urged the ministry to strengthen its maritime security. Indonesia, Abdi opined, did not carry out intensive monitoring operation due to lack of budget.
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“When compared to Canada that has a low rate of illegal unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, they set 200 days of sailing to operate fishing monitoring boats,” he added. While Indonesia only has 90 days of sailing in a year.
Therefore, the government and the House of Representatives (DPR) must review the budget allocation for the fishing monitoring operation.
Abdi further assessed that the rampant illegal fishing is probably caused by declining fish stocks in neighboring countries, contrasted to Indonesia’s. Nine out of 16 seized vessels hailed from Vietnam and the rest were Malaysian boats.
“Based on 2014-2018 data, Vietnam is the country that mostly conducted illegal fishing in Indonesia with a total of 276 vessels arrested,” Abdi concluded.