Indonesian waters must not be like those of Africa: Minister

Antara 4 Dec 15;

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Minister of Fishery and Marine Resources Susi Pudjiastuti has said that Indonesian waters must not become like those in Africa which are now controlled by foreign concessionaires.

"I do not wish Indonesian waters to become like waters in Africa where foreign concessionaires exercise control," she said at a seminar organized by the Indonesian Marine Scholars Association here on Friday.

She said sea concessions in a number of locations in Africa are open to making a number of parties from Europe to become stake holders in the areas.

He said as of now, it has become feasible for parties outside Africa to freely explore and poach marine resources, depriving the locals of any benefit.

"No foreign party will be allowed to enter our exclusive economic zone (Indonesian EEZ)," she said.

The minister said she did not want Indonesians to be reduced to a fate of meekly watching big foreign ships carrying away Indonesian natural resources.

She said she would make an inventory of polluted locations in Indonesian waters so that the sea conditions could be improved.

"We will collect data about locations in the Indonesian sea waters where there is a lot of waste," she said, adding she would ask for assistance from several countries that have satellites, such as Norway, to collect the data.

Although Indonesia has no satellite, it has committed to deploy illegal fishing task force to monitor the waters.

The minister said that dumping waste in the sea, including plastic materials, is an illegal activity.

She said in the future, she would also categorize different kinds of waste that damages the Indonesian waters, its eco-system as well as the fish population in a number of locations in the national waters.(*)

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