Indonesia: Plastic waste poses threat to Indonesian seas - Minister

Azis Kurmala Antara 12 Jul 18;

A number of residents as members of the Earth Hour Community wearing plastic-made clothing appealed to residents to reduce the use of bags made of plastic that cause climate change. (ANTARA FOTO/Rony Muharrman).

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti believes that plastic waste had become a threat to Indonesian seas.

"Hence, various parties must work together to overcome the problem," Pudjiastuti noted here on Thursday.

All parties have a responsibility to ensure that plastic waste should not end up in the sea.

The existence of illegal fishing vessels is not the only threat to Indonesia`s marine resources.

Plastic waste has become one of the main threats in recent days, the minister remarked.

The Indonesian government had earlier committed to reducing plastic waste in its maritime areas, Expert Staff for Marine Ecology and Marine Resources of the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Aryo Hanggono stated.

"The government will reduce plastic waste up to 70 percent by 2025," he remarked.

Currently, he noted that a draft of the presidential regulation on the management of plastic waste at sea was being formulated to ensure coordination between the central and local governments.

He noted that banana peels took two weeks to decompose, while plastic bags took 10-20 years to decompose, and plastic bottles took hundreds of years to decompose.

In addition, he remarked that several studies also indicated that if no significant changes are brought about, the ratio of plastic to fish in the oceans is expected to reach three is to one by 2025, and the oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050.

The fisheries and maritime sector has now become Indonesia`s prime source of economic income.

However, sustainability will not be achieved unless the sector is really preserved.

Meanwhile, Executive Director of Kehati Foundation M. S. Sembiring pointed out that Indonesia has the world`s largest biodiversity.

President Jokowi Widodo earlier remarked that Indonesia had to take serious measures to exploit its maritime resources, which he believes were the future of the country`s economy.

He said only a small part of the maritime resources worth Rp17 quadrillion (US$1.28 trillion) annually could be exploited.

"Maritime resources are the key to improving the people`s welfare and ensuring social justice in the country," the president added.

Editor: Bustanuddin