TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Minister Susi Pudjiastuti asserted that only President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has the authority to form and disband her ministry's special taskforce known as 'Satgas 115'.
Under Minister Susi's watchful eyes, Satgas 155 is mainly tasked to fight any illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing over Indonesian waters, and is the most active taskforce in fighting fisheries crimes.
The forming of Satgas 155 was also driven by the need to solve important issues that would help improve the process of eradicating crimes within Indonesian borders and ease the coordination between state institutions.
Her statement follows the plans by Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan to reinstate the role of the Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla) and its position as the only agency authorized to handle violations on Indonesian seas, apart from the Indonesian Navy.
Luhut's statement essentially means that his plan will eliminate the need to have the Satgas 115. "It will no longer be needed," said Luhut on Wednesday, May 8, 2019.
Minister Susi firmly stated that the existence of the task force is still urgently needed since there are still plenty of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. She maintains that even the United States of America has its own task force specifically handling issues regarding illegal fishing.
The Bakamla itself, according to Satgas 115 special coordinating staff Achmad Santosa, is mainly tasked to be the country's coast guard overseeing the maritime security and does not prioritize its efforts on fisheries crimes.
"Their main task is general maritime security which means fisheries crimes will no longer become a priority. That is even if the Bakamla gets their competence improved," said Achmad.