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Indonesia insist opening fishing vessels data to public

Tinuku ~ Indonesian Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Susi Pudjiastuti, said the opening of Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data for public does not endanger the potential of fisheries and not sale of state secrets. Pudjiastuti will also adhere to the regulation despite many protests from some parties, especially the marine fishing industry.

Tinuku Indonesia insist opening fishing vessels data to public

Indonesian Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Susi Pudjiastuti, said the policy opens opportunities for the fisheries industy to be more transparent. The opening of VMS data is also to reduce illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities.

"This is proof the fishing industry is heading for transparency, but I am accused of selling state secrets. This is an attempt to reduce the management of natural resources that are still dark," Pudjiastuti said at the Congress of Indonesian Diaspora on Saturday.

"Many are protesting here and there, but reforms must go on. Many of the fish trade from Indonesian sea is still illegal and the reported export activity may be only a quarter. There can be no such activity going forward," Pudjiastuti said.

Pudjiastuti requires the use of VMS on fishing vessels measuring above 30 Gross Tonne (GT). Regulation of the Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries No. 42/2015 states the opening of VMS data conducted this year and make Indonesia as the first country to open fishery data to public.

VMS can be monitored publicly using the platforms provided at globalfishingwatch.org developed by the collaboration of Oceana, Skytruth, Google, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Marisla, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Wyss Foundation, the Waterloo Foundation, Adessium Foundation and more.

"It is important to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing because it is a transnational and organized crime," Pudjiastuti said.

The ministry believes this policy will be effective as Presidential Regulation Number 44/2016 which regulates the Negative List of Investment. The regulation states that the government only allows fishing by Domestic Investment with 100 percent.

"As long as the ships enter Indonesia have three flags at once, so when they enter Indonesia, they immediately put the Indonesian flag.This regulation and transparency is proof that we are committed to protect the sea in the future," said Pudjiastuti.

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