Indonesia Sets the Trend in Fishing Policy in Asia
Several neighboring countries are taking a cue from Indonesia’s regulation restricting illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the territory that has increased the fish catch.
"Several countries, such as Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia, are also implementing a moratorium policy to restrict illegal fishing. They have also established a fishery task force," Minister of Marine and Fishery Susi Pudjiastuti stated here on Saturday.
Other countries, such as Thailand, China, and Vietnam, have also put in place a moratorium policy on restricting the issuance of licenses for fishing vessels.
The minister noted that Indonesia has become a leading nation that prohibits IUU fishing and inspires other countries to preserve their marine resources.
"I see that China and Thailand have tightened their fishing regulations. China has also issued a moratorium on licensing for their fishing vessels," Pudjiastuti remarked in a press release.
Since the end of 2014, Pudjiastuti’s administration has destroyed more than 200 trespassing foreign boats some of which were coordinated to go down simultaneously and even captured on live-streams.
Last week, the government destroyed 81 boats caught illegally fishing in Indonesian waters in 12 locations across the archipelagic nation.
“We catch them and we sink them,” Pudjiastuti said of the boats. “That’s the new rule, the national consensus.”
“If you fish in my EEZ, that’s illegal fishing,” she said, referring to Indonesia’s 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone. “If that fish is in my EEZ, that’s mine. If that fish swims past the EEZ, that’s anybody’s.”
The crackdown could see fishing stocks back to normal in two to three years. The rejuvenation of fishing stocks will help Indonesia’s economy as other growth drivers falter, Minister Pudjiastuti said.Her role sees her defending an industry that along with farming and forestry makes up 14 percent of the economy of the world’s largest archipelago, and employs millions of Indonesians. The decline in fish stocks in north Asia has seen boats push into the territorial waters of Southeast Asian nations like Indonesia.