Indonesia fighting IUU fishing by blowing up boats
According to Indonesia’s fisheries minister, the country’s move to combat illegal fishing by blowing up seized vessels will lead to a sizeable dip in overfishing, allowing a number of fish stocks to return to normal in two to three years’ time.
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said the growth in fish stocks will result in a win for Indonesia’s economy during a time when growth in other industries is slipping: “Mining is going down, everything is going down, fisheries is the only one growing,” she said, as reported by Bloomberg.
Since Pudjiastuti was appointed to office in October 2014, Indonesia has destroyed 220 foreign boats which have encroached in the country’s waters due to a decline in fish stocks in north Asia.
“We catch them and we sink them,” Pudjiastuti explained to Bloomberg. “That’s the new rule, the national consensus.”
“If you fish in my EEZ, that’s illegal fishing,” she added. “If that fish is in my EEZ, that’s mine. If that fish swims past the EEZ, that’s anybody’s.”
Indonesia’s catch has recovered to 6.6 million tons from 2.5 million tons now that fewer foreign vessels are fishing in the country’s waters. It’s possible that by next year, Indonesia could be bringing in 9.9 million tons sustainably.
Most boats being caught fishing illegally by Indonesia belong to Vietnam said Pudjiastuti; China, South Korea and Taiwan have also been known to enter Indonesian waters as well.