TEMPO.CO, Balikpapan - An observer of sea transportation Bambang Haryo Soekartono responded to rampant China’s coast guard vessels and fishing boats trespassing Indonesian territorial waters in Natuna. He opined that the violation was attributable to Susi Pudjiastuti’s policy back when she served as a minister.
Bambang said the former Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries had issued a regulation banning the operation of fishing boats measuring 150 gross tonnages (GT) as she considered to cause environmental damages.
“Her policy makes Natuna waters empty so China’s vessels easily breach in,” said the former Gerindra faction member of House of Representatives (DPR).
As a result in Susi Pudjiastuti’s regulation, thousands of fishers’ boats over 150 GT were barred from sailing and stalled in Muara Baru, Muara Angke, Indramayu, Pekalongan, Pati, and Banyuwangi.
“Small fishing boats cannot reach EEZ waters as they cannot deal with large waves. Besides, the load efficiency from the matter of technics and economy is not visible compared to the operational cost,” Bambang added.
Therefore, Bambang demanded the government revoke such regulation binding local fishers given their activities could help the government to maintain the country’s EEZ in Natuna. “They can also participate in securing and protecting our seas from China’s or other foreign vessels,” he concluded.