Indonesia has made progress in its fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) practices in its waters in the last three years, but it still has work to do, according to Her Excellency Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of Indonesia, Susi Pudjiastuti.
At the sixth European Tuna Conference in Brussels, held on the eve of Seafood Expo Global, Pudjiastuti shared her experiences of attempting to get the Indonesian seafood industry back on track after decades of mismanagement, in which overfishing by foreign vessels, including many illegal operators, had pushed its fisheries to the brink of collapse.
Pudjiastuti was appointed to the ministerial role two years ago, and she knew that from the outset that she faced a major problem in trying to return her country’s fisheries to their former glory. From her previous experience as a seafood exporter to Japan (1996-2004), she was well aware that coastal catches were in steep decline and that the landings by many coastal fleets had become virtually nonexistent. She made it her top priority to implement a major reform of the country’s fisheries management – a plan that was approved by President Joko Widodo.
“The mission of the new government of Indonesia has two parts: Firstly, to build Indonesia as center of maritime economics regionally and as a global player; the second is to put our nation’s future in the oceans,” she said.