US backs Indonesia in fight against illegal fishing

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – The US government has expressed its commitment to support Indonesia in its fight against the illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) Fishing, an official said in his written statement, received by ANTARA here on Tuesday.

“Indonesia has launched an impressive effort to fight against IUU Fishing,” Matthew Burton, Environment Director of United States Agency for International Development (USAID), said in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Burton noted that for the last three years, the Indonesian government has stepped up its efforts in capturing the illegal fishing boats. However, illegal fishing remains a common challenge that should be resolved effectively through joint action.

Earlier last year, the Indonesian Maritime and Fishery Ministry and the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had endorsed the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA).

The two countries also had partnered up to implement the agreement into a concrete measure.

The agreement calls on the signatory states to conduct regular inspection of the fishing boats operating at all the ports, in order to prevent the IUU Fishing.

The agreement is also aimed at preventing the distribution of fishes collected illegally to the ports in Indonesia as well as other signatory countries.

“The partnership between Indonesia and US is intended to bring PSMA into an actual action and halt any products of IUU Fishing from entering the local and global market,” Burton remarked.

Hence on Tuesday (Jan 16), USAID and the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) initiated a workshop on PSMA, which was attended by 21 officers of the ministrys Maritime and Fisheries Resources Monitoring Directorate General (PSDKP).

“The advance workshop on PSMA is expected to raise the knowledge and the capacity of our officers at ports. We have acknowledged that the Indonesian government has ratified the agreement into the President Regulation No.43 Year 2016,” Nilanto Perbowo, an acting PSDKP director general, remarked in his opening remarks.

The ministry has assigned representatives of five main ports, namely Jakarta, Bungus, Bitung, Ambon, and Sukabumi, to attend the workshop, he noted.

During the eight-day training, the USAID also invited some NOAA experts to introduce the PSMA to the participants. On August 2016, a similar workshop was hosted, and the trainers launched a simulation aboard the boat on the inspection standard procedures.

Enforced worldwide on June 2016, the PSMA is the first-ever binding international treaty that focuses specifically on illicit fishing, the Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations (FAO) remarked in its official website.

The US and Indonesia are among the signatory countries that have ratified the pact since it was first introduced in 2016.

Source: ANTARA News