TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said she had met with Thai Ambassador to Indonesia Paskorn Siriyaphan to discuss illegal fishing in Indonesian waters.
Susi and Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Indroyono Soesilo announced Friday the Indonesian authorities had detained five foreign boats, four of them hailing from Thailand, in Natuna Sea, Riau province.
The Indonesian government plans on drowning the boats to cause deterrent effects.
"I have spoken to the Thailand ambassador," said Susi, adding that Siriyaphan had yet to object to the strict measure the government took against illegal fishing boats.
Susi said illegal fishing had inflicted potential losses worth US$15-20 billion on the country, whereas the fishery sector could become one of Indonesia's mainstays.
Susi explained Indonesia boasted the second longest sea lines in the world, yet Indonesia's fishery exports only sat at fifth globally. "Fish prices in Indonesia are very high," Susi said.
GRACE GANDHI | DEVY ERNIS