Indonesia destroys over 20 foreign vessels due to illegal fishing
This is bringing the number of vessels destroyed by the government under the policy to more than 170.
Referring to this situation, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti stressed that "the Government will not stop its sinking policy so that the sea is realized as the nation's wealth in the future," Antara News reported.
The minister also clarified these vessels that were caught poaching fish from Vietnam and Malaysia and not from China.
However, in connection with the recent violation committed by the Chinese vessel Kway Fei operating illegally near the Natuna Islands, the minister said she was still awaiting a response from China and expressed belief that China would support Indonesia’s action against the violation of its sovereignty.
Jakarta’s authorities accused Beijing’s ones of obstructing law enforcement when large Chinese coast guard vessels intercepted Indonesian patrol boats towing the Chinese fishing boat, The Jakarta Post informed.
According to the Indonesian Government, when the Kway Fei was being towed ashore, a Chinese coastguard ship suddenly approached and rammed into the boat in a bid to prevent it from being taken away. To avoid a clash, the Indonesian officials let the vessel go and only detained its crew members.
Tensions escalated as Beijing authorities claimed that the area where its ship was caught, which is in Indonesia’s EEZ, was part of its fishing region, a claim not recognised by the international community.
Meanwhile, Indonesian coordinating minister for maritime affairs Rizal Ramli stressed the benefits of the protection policy.
The official pointed out that before the policy was applied, "many foreign vessels were protected by powerful people in Indonesia, so that they could steal fish, which cost the state tens of billions of dollars."
In addition, he underlined that the positive impact of the policy has been felt by traditional fishermen who are now able to score larger catches. ■