Saturday , 13 December 2014
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Indonesia government to suspend issuing permit to foreign fishing vessels

JAKARTA (Rambu Energy) – Martime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said her ministry will issue regulation to set moratorium to foreign vessels used to catch fishes on Indonesian waters. The regulation is aimed to combat illegal fishing activities as well as the misused of the purpose of the permits.

Since elected as minister by President Joko Widodo, Susi Pudjiastuti is determined to ‘clean up’ irregularities are under her ministry. She said the state has lost trillions of rupiah every year due to illegal fishing.

“I have a good news today. The Ministry for Law and Human Rights has agreed to sign a moratorium on the catching fish (on Indonesian waters) by foreign vessels,” Minister Pudjiastuti was quoted by Bisnis Indonesia as saying.

She made the statement after held a meeting with Canada Ambassador Donald Bobiash at her office. She said the moratorium will become effective pending on the approval of the House of Representative (DPR) and President.

She is also waiting for response from regional governments to scrap retribution paid by small fishing vessels with below 10 gross ton.

On Thursday (Oct 6), the minister also met with the US Ambassador to Indonesia Robert O Blake at her office. Blake told reporters that the US government has cooperated with Indonesia on various issues, including in dealing with illegal fishing and maritime conservation. He admitted he has been given “home-works” by Minister Susi Pudjiastuti and happy to study it.

Minister Pudjiastuti’s move has gained support from neighbouring countries. On Tuesday (Nov 4), she invited six neighbouring countries ambassador to her office to discuss fishing activities by foreign vessels. They are Malaysian Ambassador to Indoensia Dato’ Zahrain Mohamed Hashim, Vietnam Ambassador Nguyen Xuan Thuy, China’s Ambassador Xie Feng, Thailand Ambassador Paskorn Siriphayan, Philippines Ambassador Roberto G. Manalo and Australian Ambassador David Engel.

Xie Feng, China’s Ambassador to Indonesia said that he agreed for sustainable fishing activities and prevent illegal fishing. “The key word is sustainable fishing. All will gain benefit if our sea is not misused. We will highlight this in the business to business MoU,” said Minister Pudjiastuti.

Minister Pudjiastuti said earlier that the suspension (moratorum) will also help conserve certain endangered species of fishes. “I think China is also concerned on conserving endangered fishes,” said Xie Feng. He added his government will cooperate with Indonesia on the matter. The  Memorandum of Understanding will be signed by six countries on December 13, 2014. (*)

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