Posted by: The ocean update | April 7, 2015

National scene : Mafia presence in fishing sector ‘very strong’ (Indonesia)

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015. A mafia rules the country’s fisheries sector, making it difficult to curb illegal fishing, says the Indonesian Traditional Fishermen Union (KNTI).

“The KNTI is aware that mafia practices in the fishery sector are very strong. Law enforcers should prioritize the arrest of the main actors behind illegal fishing,” said KNTI chairman M. Riza Damanik as quoted by Antara news agency. The masterminds behind illegal fishing control national and foreign firms, bureaucracy and law enforcement institutions, he said.

He said the involvement of a mafia was evident in the capture of the Hai Fa fishing vessel and slavery practices in Benjina, Aru Islands, Maluku, both of which had been taken lightly by law enforcement institutions.

“The disclosure of slavery in Benjina, Aru Island, Maluku, and the MV Hai Fa case indicate that upholding the law in the fisheries sector in the past five months has not yet created significant deterrent effects,” said Riza.

An Ambon court recently fined the operators of the Chinese ship Rp 200 million (US$15,461) after they were convicted of illegally netting hundreds of tons of fish in Ambon waters. The court did not seize the ship or impose criminal charges on crew members and operators.

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