Susi: No instruction to auction confiscated fishing vessels

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Marine and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said there is no instruction from President Joko Widodo to sell at auction foreign fishing boats confiscated for illegal operations in Indonesian waters.

“Until today the president has never passed an instruction to sell at auction foreign fishing boats caught committing illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing,” the minister said here on Monday.

Susi made the statement commenting on a plan in Batam to auction off foreign fishing boats on Monday. The plan was cancelled later.

There is no working plan or other plans than sinking all confiscated foreign fishing boats, she said.

“The decision to confiscate (foreign vessels for illegally fishing) for the state is an option, but not to be sold at auction,” she said.

Susi said if there is request to use the ships such as for research, the request needs to be studied.

She said it is necessary to understand the purpose of the presence of foreign ships as each ship has sovereignty and the flag they use represent their respective countries.

“In addition, there is moral hazard in it. What we would not compromise on, is the latent economic and natural resource crimes,” she said.

She also pointed to the auction condition setting a minimum limit for the price of a ship at Rp186 million, whereas the ship measuring 100 gross tons or more is valued at least Rp1 billion.

In addition, the fish stolen by the ship operators had a higher price than the price offered in the planned auction, she said.

“This is an old practice. The ships will end up again in the hands of the old owners. Dont allow foreign ships undermine our sovereignty,” she said.

The Batam high prosecution office has decided to put off the auction plan.

The government under President Jokowi has taken a tough measure against illegal fishing. Hundreds of foreign fishing vessels caught committing IUU fishing in Indonesian waters have been exploded in the sea after the court found them guilty.

Source: Antara News