Illegal Fishing; Susi Calls on All Countries to Open VMS Data

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti delivers an opening speech at the International Fish Force Academy of Indonesia Regional Training for Investigators and Prosecutors for African Countries at the Mina Bahari III Building, Central Jakarta, Monday, July 22, 2019. TEMPO/Dias Prasongko

    Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti delivers an opening speech at the International Fish Force Academy of Indonesia Regional Training for Investigators and Prosecutors for African Countries at the Mina Bahari III Building, Central Jakarta, Monday, July 22, 2019. TEMPO/Dias Prasongko

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaMaritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti has called on all countries to open access to the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data in a bid to prevent illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

    “This data disclosure is part of the global cooperation to share information related to fishing boats’ condition and location. Many countries are still reluctant to expose their VMS data,” said Minister Susi at the Mina Bahari III Building, Central Jakarta, Monday, July 22.

    Susi delivered her speech in an event of International Fish Force Academy of Indonesia Regional Training for Investigators and Prosecutors for African Countries. As many as 11 representatives from 5 African countries joined the workshop.

    She expressed hopes the event could trigger a joint movement among countries against illegal fishing as a transnational crime. By sharing the same vision and stance, it is also expected that a wider access to the VMS data could be realized.

    Susi Pudjiastuti added her ministry would coordinate with the Foreign Affairs Ministry to push other countries to uncover their data on fishing vessels. She said this was vital since many foreign boats brought multiple country flags, had fishing permits and employed crew from various countries.

    Indonesia itself had shared its VMS data since 2016. Indonesia became the first country that implemented the technology system that is open to the public as a collaboration result between the ministry, Google, Oceana, and Sky Truth. At present, there are only six countries that open their data publicly.

    DIAS PRASONGKO