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Indonesian Government building an integrated system to tackle IUU fishing

Indonesian Government building an integrated system to tackle IUU fishing

According
to a report
by Jakarta Globe, the Government of Indonesia is amid preparations for an
integrated system to tackle illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing,
quoting Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan at a
press conference in Jakarta.

The Coordinating
Minister was quoted to state that the new integrated system will first be
tested in the Natuna Sea. The idea is to strengthen patrolling efforts in the
area by stationing a tanker in the Natuna Sea to refuel patrol vessels.

Instead
of having patrol vessels travel back and forth for refuelling, the standby
tanker will allow patrol vessels to lengthen their missions from only a few
days to a month. This will help authorities to increase efficiency of
patrolling missions at a reduced cost.

Other
than the tanker, the integrated system also aims at boosting the Government’s
monitoring capabilities with the help of satellites and drones.

As a
cross-agency effort, the integrated system will also have a fleet from the
Indonesian Maritime Security Board, Bakamla, to ensure overall security.

Considering
illegal fishing a transnational crime that severely hurts the country, Indonesia’s
war on illegal fishing has been ongoing. According to a
report
on ASEAN News, IUU fishing costs Indonesia over US$3 billion
annually. To tackle this, the Government has been adopting the “shock therapy”
approach by tough crackdowns that including sinking hundreds of foreign illegal
vessels found in its waters.

Moving
forward, Coordinating Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said the Government is
working to find expand ways to deter illegal fishing in its waters. This
include giving seized illegal fishing boats to local fishery unions and fishery
groups after approval from the district court, according to the 2009 Law on
Fisheries.

As previously
reported
, Indonesia was the first country in the world to publicly share
its vessel monitoring system data to fight IUU and other transnational crime
like drugs and human trafficking.

Indonesia’s
ongoing war against IUU fishing has won some attention and support from the
international community. According to a
report
by Antara News, the US Government has expressed its commitment to support
to Indonesia in its fight against IUU fishing.

Indonesia
and the United States are both signatory countries of the Agreement on Port State
Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated
Fishing (PSMA) which is the world’s first binding international treated to combat
IUU fishing. The international treaty is enforced worldwide since 2016.

Since their endorsement of PSMA, Indonesia and
the US have been collaborating on initiatives to fight IUU. For example, Indonesian
port authorities have sent representatives from Jakarta, Bungus, Bitung, Ambon,
and Sukabumi attended a PSMA workshop organised by the US Agency for
International Development and US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric
Administration earlier this month.

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