Indonesia seizes 26 fishing boats since January
The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry’s maritime resources and fisheries director general, Nilanto Prabowo, said 20 of the 26 vessels were Indonesian ships, while three were from Vietnam, two from the Philippines and one from Malaysia, The Jakarta Post reported.
The ministry also found nine fish aggregating devices (FADs), allegedly owned by the operators of the two Philippine ships, which were seized in Sulawesi waters on April 9, Nilanto said in Jakarta on Thursday, as reported by kompas.com.
He said any use of FADs had to be approved by the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry.
“The use of FADs is regulated under Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry Regulation No. 26/2014 on maintaining fishery resources,” Nilanto said, adding that improper placing of FADs could disrupt fish migration routes and shipping.
Indonesia’s policy against illegal fishing was tones down this year, following public debate about whether the country should continue its policy of sinking fishing boats at sea after they were found to have been used for illegal fishing.
The government has since allowed the sale of seized fishing boats, after President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said the “previous tough policy” had shown to the world Indonesia’s seriousness in fighting illegal fishing.
Since the tough policy was introduced in 2015, Indonesia has sunk more than 300 fishing boats. ■