TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Minister Susi Pudjiastuti urged the European Union to impose a warning on Vietnam over the constant practice of illegal fishing in Indonesian waters.
“We will push for Europe to once again punish Vietnam with a yellow card for illegal fishing,” said Susi at the Halim Perdanakusuma Airport on Tuesday, April 30.
The latest case involving illegal fishing in Indonesian waters by fishing boats flying the Vietnam flag happened in North Natuna, which ended in the Indonesian Navy ship KRI Tjiptadi-381 being rammed by a Vietnamese coast guard vessel.
This incident, said the minister, is seen as an attempt to hamper the Navy’s law enforcement against the illegal fishing boat the coast guard was allegedly protecting. However, Vietnam also claims the area where the incident took place as their territory.
“With that sort of incident, they should not be let off of the yellow card [they previously earned] for continuing to conduct illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing,” said the minister.
Minister Susi’s frustration is justifiable since there have been four cases of Vietnam-flag fishing boats illegally fishing over Indonesian waters that ended up in a chase between the illegal boats and Indonesian authorities.
Prior to the incident, Susi Pudjiastuti constantly warned that Vietnam fishing boats should not conduct activities over the disputed area before a final decision is made and that the Indonesian Navy’s action in towing the fishing boat is justifiable.