Tough policing is restoring Indonesia’s fisheries

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The distant water fishing sector in China has expanded over the past three decades to become the world’s largest. But regulation and professionalism have not kept pace with the sector’s explosive growth. Image: David Castor , CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons Five years ago the world’s most populous archipelago nation started taking action against the decimation of its fish stocks. Indonesia’s waters were being plundered by vessels from nearby countries, particularly China and Thailand, but also Taiwan, South Korea and Malaysia. An illegal fishing vessel named Viking is blown up by Indonesian authorities off Pangandaran, West Java, in March 2016. Image: Ramdani/Xinhua/Alamy via chinadialogue Oceans. When Susi Pudjiastuti became minister of fisheries and maritime affairs in 2014, she began dramatically curbing this practice of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. A report last year found a more than 80 per cent drop in foreign vessels fishing in Indonesian waters, as well as evidence of increased catches by Indonesian fishermen. “Before this paper, the ministry [of fisheries] would say their anti-IUU policy was having an effect, and would throw in numbers, but there was no hard evidence,” said Reniel B Cabral, a lead author of the report, from […]

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