Jakarta. As part of an international action to combat illegal fishing, the United States’s Agency for International Development, or USAID, and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries have partnered up to provide training for Indonesian officials on implementing Port State Measures, a series of rules to prevent fishing vessels from operating illegally.
The four-day workshop took place on Aug. 22-26 in Manado, North Sulawesi, and was led by a panel of experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and attended by officials from the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, the Customs Office, the Foreign Affairs Ministry, as well as the managers of major Indonesian fishing ports in Manado.
"Illegal fishing steals billions of dollars’ worth of resources from Indonesia’s waters each year, hurting those who play by the rules, including tens of thousands of Indonesians who support their families by fishing responsibly and legally," Chargé d’Affaires of the United States Embassy in Jakarta, Brian McFeeters, said in a statement on Tuesday (30/08).
McFeeters said illegal fishing threatens the sustainability of all fishing activities all across the archipelago, with the ministry reporting an annual loss of $20 billion from illegal fishing.
The workshop provided both technical and practical exercises to simulate boarding of suspicious vessels, as port inspections of fishing vessels are key to prevent foreign fish products landing in ports.
Through the USAID, the US has contributed $39 million to assist Indonesian government in protecting and managing seven million hectares of ocean and coastal resources.