Minister to boost surveillance against smuggling

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Indonesias Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti said here on Monday she would order increased surveillance against smuggling activities in the countrys waters.

“Smuggling has been proven as one of the reasons for the weak growth in the fisheries and maritime sectors,” she noted in a written statement.

Pointing out that illegal fishing was not just connected with fishery commodities, she informed that customs service and task forces will be involved to carry out enhanced surveillance.

Her offices efforts to eradicate illegal fishing in the past two years have received full support from the president who included catch fishing in the negative list for foreign investment.

On the other hand, Indonesia continues to have good relations with other countries and allows investment in processing industry to take advantage of the abundant supply of fish in the country.

Minister Susi Pudjiastuti had earlier unveiled a case of Philippine fishermen who were allegedly in possession of Indonesian IDs that enabled them to fish in the countrys waters.

“The latest such case was found in Bitung (North Sulawesi) where several Filipino fishermen were using Indonesian IDs (to catch fish),” she told a press conference here on Wednesday (Oct 5).

She disclosed that the investigation into the case was almost over and perpetrators have been arrested.

She revealed that some individuals were also found changing their fishing boats documents to pass off their foreign boats as locally owned.

She added that data as well as transcripts have been collected from the fishermen as part of the investigation into the case.(*)