An Indonesian patrol boat operated by the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry apprehends a Malaysian fishing boat in the Indonesian waters in November 2019. (Photo courtesy of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry)
Indonesia Extends Anti-Illegal Fishing Task Force
BY :DIANA MARISKA
JANUARY 24, 2020
Jakarta. The Indonesian government has decided to extend the service of anti-illegal fishing task force Satgas 115 following an evaluation by related ministries and state agencies.
The task force was established in October 2105 based on a presidential decree number 115, from which the name was taken. It was initially led by then Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti and has since caught and blown up many foreign fishing boats for illegally operating within the Indonesian waters.
An inter-ministerial meeting led by Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud M.D. on Thursday decided to extend the role of the task force, which expired in December last year.
“We've come to the conclusion that the presidential decree is still relevant. However, new standard operating procedures will be arranged and finalized within the shortest possible time,” Mahfud said after the meeting at his office in Jakarta.
He added the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry would draft the new standard operating procedures.
“The SOP will regulate who's doing what and propose the budget,” Mahfud said.
He said there had been overlapping decisions regarding maritime patrols involving the task force, the Police Water and the Navy.
“Now we will make clear which tasks belong to the Satgas 115 and which ones belong to other stakeholders in the maritime affairs,” Mahfud said,
Presidential Staff Office head Moeldoko, who was also present at the metting, said that for the time being there was no plan to merge the Satgas 115 with the Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla), which is being prepared to function as Indonesia's sole coast guard.
However, Moeldoko reminded that the Satgas 115 was only an ad hoc agency.
“But for now, we will continue as it is – with several improvements and adjustments,” Moeldoko said.