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All illegal fishing boats to be treated equally: Minister Susi

All boats caught fishing illegally in the countrys waters will be treated the same, according to Indonesias Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti.

“A US-flagged boat will also be sunk if it were to be found fishing illegally in the country,” she emphasized here on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Indonesia sank 23 foreign fishing vessels from Vietnam and Malaysia that were caught poaching fish in the countrys waters by blowing them up at seven locations in various regions.

Minister Susi denied claims that one of the vessels sunk that day was from China.

Speaking in connection with the recent violation committed by the Chinese vessel Kway Fei, the minister said she was still awaiting a response from China.

“I am impressed and laud Chinas law enforcement apparatus. I hope they would also respect Indonesias laws,” she affirmed.

Minister Susi expressed belief that China would support Indonesias action against violation of its sovereignty.

The government has been urged to adopt a firmer stance against Chinese ships caught fishing illegally in the country.

“In the past few years, several Chinese ships have entered the country without permits, and so, the government should be firmer in its actions against them,” lawmaker Rofi Munawar had stressed.

The politician from the Prosperous Justice Party said Indonesia, as a sovereign country, had territorial boundaries and jurisdiction, and hence, it was justified in acting against the Chinese ship found poaching fish in its waters.

Rofi, who is also deputy chairman of the House of Representatives Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation, stated that the Indonesian government had a strong legal foundation, including the law on fishermens protection and empowerment as well as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to register a complaint with China.

The Indonesian ministry of fisheries suspected that a boat was illegally fishing in its waters in Natuna on March 19, 2016, at around 2:15 p.m. local time.

An Indonesian patrol ship KP Hiu 11 then intercepted the fishing boat, later known as the Chinese-flagged KM Kway Fei, and then arrested its eight crew members.

When KM Kway Fei was being towed ashore, a Chinese coastguard ship suddenly approached and rammed into the boat in a bid to prevent it from being taken away. To avoid a clash, KP Hiu 11 then let the vessel go and only detained its crew members.

Source: ANTARA News