Multi Government Agencies Come Together in the First-ever Joint Training to Fight Illegal Fishing with the Indonesian Special Court on FisheryApr 18, 2016
Batam, 18 April 2016 – According to the 2014 Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries’ report, Indonesia has suffered loss amounting to Rp. 101 trillion per year due to Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing. This is a major loss, as fishery alone is contributing a great deal to the Indonesian economy. In 2015, fishery contributes 2.31% to the Indonesian gross domestic product with quarterly growth between 7 to 8.5%, (KKP, 2015).
One of the most notable challenges in fighting illegal fishing is inter-agency coordination. Fishery crimes are not merely illegal fishing. It can be linked to other crimes such as human trafficking and drugs and arms smuggling. Fishery crimes are also different than other crimes. It's response needs to be strategic, similar to environmental crimes. In practice, for example, once an illegal vessel is captured, the fish can be immediately confiscated by the state. Violators should be brought to justice through a proper trial in less than thirty days – which is significantly faster than other criminal cases – to ensure that the fish can still be used as evidence in the fishery court. To fight these complex challenges, all stakeholders in judiciary and law enforcement must coordinate closely and work together in a short period of time.
EU-UNDP SUSTAIN, a five-year EUR 10 million project funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP Indonesia, is building the capacity of special courts in Indonesia, one of which is fishery court. In total, Indonesia has 10 fishery courts spread in: Medan, North Jakarta, Bitung, Pontianak, Tual, Tanjung Pinang, Ranai, Ambon, Sorong, and Merauke. According to the Supreme Court data, Indonesia has registered 619 cases in fishery between 2010 to 2016. The EU-UNDP SUSTAIN is facilitating a joint training between law enforcement agencies and special court on fishery to enhance coordination and responses in the field when dealing with cases in fishery. "Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) Fishing is not necessarily easy to address due to the multitude of actors involved as well as the nature of the fisheries sector," said Franck Viault, Head of Cooperation of the European Union Delegation to Indonesia. "Indonesia needs strong law enforcement personnel to fight illegal fishing in order to protect and preserve the marine resources and promote sustainable fishing for the benefit of the people, in particular small-scale fishermen (including women) who are highly dependent on fishing as their livelihood," added Mr Viault.
Strengthening Inter-agency coordination through joint-training
More than fifty representatives from the Indonesian courts on fishery, Attorney General’s Office, Indonesian National Police, the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, and the Navy of Indonesian National Army will come together in Batam from 18 to 22 April 2016 to coordinate steps in fighting IUU Fishing.
Gilles Blanchi, the Chief Technical Advisor and Project Manager of EU-UNDP SUSTAIN noted that, “The magnitude and the impact of Fishery Crime in Indonesia demands a concerted approach by all law enforcement agencies and judiciary bodies. Only such strategy, based on interagency cooperation and coordination will combat successfully illegal fishing and protect the country’s rich marine lives but also reduce related crimes such as human trafficking, tax evasions and money laundering. Through these joint-trainings, we aim to have reinforce the country’s capacity to investigate, prosecute and sanction offenders violating Indonesia fishery laws.”
He continued, ”Simultaneously, this interagency cooperation will contribute to ensuring corporate accountability, recovering state losses and ultimately promoting responsible fishing where the ocean can be used as a source of domestic economic growth and at the same time, preserving the marine lives.”
Agus Subroto SH, MH, the Indonesian Supreme Court’s Head of Research and Development on Law and Justice, addressed in his opening remarks, “The Supreme Court is currently holding trainings for fishery judges in the district court and appellate court; in addition, we also need a joint-training between institutions that we have not done before this one we have in Batam. We welcome the EU-UNDP SUSTAN initiative in supporting inter-agency collaboration.”
The Batam training is the first round encompassing participants from the Western part of Indonesia. A second round representing the Central and Eastern Indonesia will be done later on in 2016. The EU-UNDP SUSTAIN is facilitating the trainings together with the Indonesian Supreme Court’s Research and Development, Education and Training Division.