Monday, 29 July 2019 00:00

Sinking of foreign illegal vessels does not bring about a deterrent effect

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The punishment for sinking vessels that illegally fish in Indonesian waters does not seem to deter foreign fishermen. Recently, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) has again succeeded in capturing 6 foreign fishing vessels. Three vessels from Vietnam and 3 others from the Philippines were arrested in 2 different water locations due to illegal activities.
The three vessels from Vietnam transported 36 crews with Vietnamese citizenship. They were secured and then escorted to Batam Marine and Fisheries Resource Monitoring Base (PSDKP) for investigation process by Fisheries Civil Servant Investigators (PPNS). Meanwhile, 3 vessels from the Philippines, pump-boat along with 11 Filipino crew members were taken to  Bitung PSDKP Base in North Sulawesi.The capture of the vessels from Vietnam and the Philippines increased the number that had been captured by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries for illegal activities in Indonesian waters. At least, from January to the end of July 2019, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries has succeeded in capturing 43 foreign fishing vessels.In accordance with the Indonesian Fisheries Act, the perpetrators could face a maximum jail sentence of six years and a maximum fine of Rp. 20 billion. Meanwhile, the captured vessels can be auctioned or sunk if they already have legal binding.However, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries prefers to sink the illegal vessels because the foreign vessels that have been auctioned off have the potential to be re-used for similar crimes. Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Susi Pujiastuti once revealed that illegal fishing vessels were auctioned at a price of only Rp. 100 to Rp. 500 million. Meanwhile, their profits reached Rp. 1-2 billion from once fishing by stealing in the territory of Indonesia. This means that their activities are truly detrimental to the state.The decision to sink foreign vessels carrying out illegal fishing in Indonesian waters is viewed as an appropriate choice. However, this action does not seem to bring about a deterrent effect. This is evidenced by the arrests carried out recently by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.In addition to giving punishments, it seems that diplomatic steps also need to be strengthened so that the relevant countries provide education to their citizens about the dangers and legal consequences of illegal fishing activities. In fact, diplomatic relations need to be enhanced so that illegal fishing in other countries' waters can be avoided.

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