Indonesia: Add Illegal Fishing to List of Transnational Organized Crimes -- Minister

Jakarta Globe 30 Nov 15;

Jakarta. Indonesia's Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti is calling on the United Nations to list illegal fishing as transnational organized crime, arguing that perpetrators often work in international waters and involve a multitude of parties in various countries.

“If the UN lists [illegal fishing] as a transnational organized crime, eradication will be easier, because countries can help each other by exchanging data, which helps enforcement,” the minister said on Monday as quoted by

She was speaking at a workshop in Jakarta, on fisheries-related human rights issues.

Susi stressed that listing illegal fishing as a transnational crime would help law enforcers across the world stop the exploitation of workers, abuse and human trafficking.

Since she became minister more than a year ago, Susi has been taking a tough stance against foreign vessels encroaching into Indonesian waters to catch fish, causing income losses of trillions of rupiah for the government and local fishing communities.

Susi has also been involved in helping end human trafficking and slavery practices at a foreign-owned fisheries company in Benjina, Maluku, where hundreds of people, mainly from Myanmar, had been working for years in captivity without pay and often subjected to torture.

The minister also cited similar cases of abuse involving at least 61,000 Indonesians working as crew members on foreign fishing vessels. In these instances, crew members have been reportedly subjected to inhumane treatment including being held captive and forced to work long hours for little or sometimes no pay by foreign employers.

Consider illegal fishing a transnational crime, says fishery minister
Antara 1 Dec 15;

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti has urged that illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUUF) activities be regarded as transnational crimes.

"We want every country to classify this crime as a transnational crime because it is an organized international crime," Minister Pudjiastuti told an international workshop on human rights protection in fishery business in Indonesia, here on Monday.

Classifying these as a transnational crime will encourage countries to share data on IUUF cases that will help deal with the problem, she said.

It will also encourage fishery companies to protect human rights in line with the international standards in the fishery field.

Laborers and crew members will also be protected in line with the international human rights protection standard.

"We want business practices in the fishery field and its processing business to implement the international human rights standard," she stated.

Chairman of the Task Force for IUUF Prevention and Eradication Mas Achmad Santosa also shared the ministers view, saying that fishery-related crimes are all pervasive, and should therefore be seen as transnational crimes.

"The fishery crime activities include boat forgery, double flags, boat size mark down, transmitter being turned off, fish catch forgery, fishing in other countrys water territory, using prohibited fishing devices, or failure to establish a partnership with a fishery processing unit," Mas Achmad Santosa said.

The IUUF activities also include illegal fuel business transactions in the sea, money laundering, corruption, human trafficking, drug smuggling and underpaid labor.

The ministry is currently drafting a regulation on human rights protection in the fishery business in Indonesia to demonstrate the governments commitment to eradicating fishery crimes at national and international levels.(*)

Indonesia mustering global support to eradicate illegal fishing
Antara 1 Dec 15;

Manado, N Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - Indonesia, through the Ministry of Marine and Fisheries, is mustering global support for the eradication of Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing in its waters, according to Marine and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti.

"The government remains committed in combating all forms of IUU fishing and fisheries crime in the Indonesian waters, and it needs global support to make the efforts more effective," Pudjiastuti stated after inaugurating the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) building in Manado, North Sulawesi, on Tuesday.

According to Pudjiastuti, crimes in the marine and fisheries sector, such as IUU fishing is a global problem that threatens ocean ecosystems and sustainable fisheries.

"We are grateful to receive support and positive response from the international community. I hope to continue this cooperation in order to fight against IUU in the fisheries sector globally," Pudjiastuti explained during the first Regional Workshop on IUU Fishing and Sustainable Fisheries Exercise in Manado.

She explained that such a crime in the fisheries sector is highly detrimental to Indonesia as it not only depleted the natural resources of the ocean but also resulted in economic losses of up to US$20 billion per year.

Pudjiastuti further added that IUU fishing activities posed a threat to 65 percent of the coral reefs, 85 percent of the global fish stocks, and small-scale fishermen.

She remarked that IUU fishing was also associated with human rights crimes, such as human trafficking and slavery, money laundering, corruption, and tax fraud.

The establishment of a task force to combat IUU fishing, which was decided by the Indonesian president on October 19, 2015, was a milestone in the eradication of illegal fishing in the country.

The workshop is a forum to share information and experiences and to gain knowledge on IUU fishing and other fishing-related crimes from various expert sources, such as the FAO, ILO, UNODC, the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs, illegal fishing combating task force, and the Indonesian Navy.(*)

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