Indonesian Minister of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Susi Pudjiastuti, suspects that 300 boats have been operating illegally within Indonesian waters. “Today, there are about 300 illegal, foreign boats operating under the Indonesian flag,” the minister stated, after participating as a keynote speaker at Sahid University Jakarta on 9th April.
The information was revealed after a thorough investigation by her ministry’s joint task force, the Satgas 115. The team operates boats in undisclosed areas of the Indonesian ocean to save marine life within Indonesia’s territorial waters, and to prevent illegal fishing practices by other countries.
The task force suspects that the illegal fishing boats were able to operate with the help of corrupt local people, very likely to have comprised of highly ranked politicians and local fishermen.
Minister Susi Pudjiastuti warned that her ministry will not hesitate to impose firm punishments upon those caught and found guilty of illegal fishing. She has ordered the staff of the Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Ministry to immediately sink the illegal fishing boats.
The ministry has sunk 488 illegal, foreign fishing boats since 2015.