Friday, June 14, 2024

Presidential hopefuls told to prioritize maritime security

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Journalist IBP

Journalist

Editor

Interview

Calls are mounted on the three presidential candidates to prioritize maritime security if they lead the nation in view of new threats at the sea that need urgent attention.

Mas Achmad Santosa, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Indonesia Ocean Justice Initiative, emphasized that a robust maritime security system is a fundamental requirement for improvement. He pointed out that Indonesia’s geographical location and fishing potential make it vulnerable.

“We hope this can be input for the presidential candidates,” said Mas Achmad Santosa, during a discussion titled “Detection of Indonesian Maritime Security,” organized by Indonesia Ocean Justice Initiative, on Tuesday, February 6, 2024.

Representatives from all presidential and vice-presidential campaign teams attended the event. Among the attendees were Vice Admiral (ret) Achmad Djamaludin from the National Team of Anies Baswedan-Muhaimin Iskandar, Bobby Rizaldi from the National Campaign Team of Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming Raka, and Jaleswari Pramodhawardani from the National Winning Team of Ganjar Pranowo-Mahfud MD.

Foreign research ships

The Indonesia Ocean Justice Initiative detected the entry of unauthorized foreign research ships. Two Chinese ships conducted research throughout the last year, entering Indonesia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

These ships had previously conducted research across the entire South China Sea, passing through Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, and briefly entering Indonesia. “The research conducted is massive,” stated the presenter of Indonesia Ocean Justice Initiative’s study, Imam Prakoso.

Oil Spills

The second threat is oil spills in Indonesia, primarily in the western part. Imam mentioned that the Java Sea is the most polluted sea due to fuel spills. Moreover, waters around the Riau Islands are also prone to oil spills.

“Oil spills is rampant because tanker activities in the waters bordering Singapore are very high. It becomes worse due to lack of supervision,” Imam said.

Indonesia Ocean Justice Initiative found a 6.4-kilometer oil spill near Bintan Island from satellite study results.

Illegal Fishing

Fish theft is still a problem that the new president needs to address. “This is because many fishermen from neighboring countries enter, despite the agreed-upon EEZ between the two countries,”

Purse seine nets

According to Indonesia Ocean Justice Initiative’s study, the use of purse seine nets has become prevalent since 2022. In the same year, the number of vessels using these nets increased from about 20 to more than 1,000.

The study found that vessels using these nets often conflict with local fishermen. Local fishermen consider purse seine nets similar to trawls, which have been banned. Therefore, Indonesia Ocean Justice Initiative suggests that the new president temporarily ban the use of this method while researching its security.

Unidentified Vessels/Dark Vessels

The study by Indonesia Ocean Justice Initiative also found indications of former foreign-flagged vessels sailing undetected in Indonesia. They found that these vessels turned off their Automatic Identification System (AIS) and sailed in the Arafura Sea. “These ships were cargo vessels in 2014, and now they have no permits,” said Imam.

Illegal fishing and maritime defense problem

The waters of Indonesia have faced a surge in illegal fishing activities by foreign ships targeting the country’s abundant fishery resources. Authorities from the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries have thwarted an attempt by a Filipino-flagged fishing vessel in the waters of the Sulawesi Sea.

According to data from the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, from January to mid-October 2023, the maritime patrol vessels of the ministry have apprehended 15 foreign fishing vessels engaged in illegal fishing within Indonesian waters.

According to a report from the Indonesian House of Representatives Journal, several areas within Indonesian waters are highly susceptible to illegal fishing, including the waters around Natuna, northern Sulawesi, areas around Maluku, and the Arafura Sea.

In 2021, Deputy Speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), Syarief Hasan, highlighted the security challenges in the waters around Natuna, which are frequently entered by vessels from other countries, particularly Vietnam and China.

This issue has become a persistent challenge for Indonesia, and effective solutions are yet to be implemented.

“The sovereignty of the country is jeopardized every year, not to mention the frequent theft of marine resources,” Hasan said.

On the flip side, Hasan stated that the undetected entry of vessels from Vietnam and China indicates that our military technology is lagging behind neighboring countries. This is a lamentable situation.

With vast oceans and abundant marine resources, the outcome is that our resources are pilfered by other nations. The government must not turn a blind eye to this fact, especially considering the recurring nature of such incidents.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a UN agency dealing with global food and agriculture issues, Indonesia’s potential for marine capture fisheries ranked third globally in 2020, following China and Peru.

Indonesia contributed 8 percent to global production. However, regrettably, the country loses a tremendous income potential every year. The Indonesian Oceans Justice Initiative, for instance, estimates that Indonesia faces losses of around US$ 4 billion (IDR 62.7 trillion) annually due to illegal fishing practices.

Journalist IBP

Journalist

 

Editor

 

Interview

SUBSCRIBE NOW
We will provide you with an invoice for your reimbursable expenses.

Free

New to Indonesian market? Read our free articles before subscribing to the premium plan. If you already run your business in Indonesia, make sure to subscribe to the premium subscription so you won’t miss any intelligence & business opportunities.

Premium

$550 USD/Year

or

$45 USD/Month

Cancelation: you can cancel your subscription at any time, by sending us an email inquiry@ibp-media.com

Add keywords to your market watch and receive notification:
Schedule a free consultation with us:

We’ll contact you for confirmation.

FURTHER READING

The Ethics Council of the Constitutional Court Honors (MKMK) has reprimanded Justice Anwar Usman after being found guilty of violating the Code of Ethics and Conduct for Constitutional Judges.
The Nusantara Capital City (IKN) Authority has revealed that they have been affected by the automatic adjustment policy, resulting in a budget of Rp21 billion (approximately US$1.47 million) being blocked by Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati.
British oil giant BP has targeted the production of 176 liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes this year from the Tangguh LNG Plant in Bintuni Bay, West Papua, some 55 cargoes of which are expected to come from Train 3.
PT Chandra Asri Pacific (TPIA), an entity owned by conglomerate Prajogo Pangestu, is forecasting the completion of its Chlor Alkali-Ethylene Dichloride (CA-EDC) plant, which serves as a raw material source for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, by the year 2027.
The Ministry of Public Works and Housing is poised to finalize the selection of the winning bidder for the nation’s longest toll road project, the Gedebage – Tasikmalaya – Cilacap (Getaci) Toll Road.
Minister of Communication and Informatics, Budi Arie Setiadi, has revealed that the draft Presidential Regulation (Perpres) on Publisher Rights is set to be ratified soon.