Govt Must Soon Stop Exporting Fish

Govt Must Soon Stop Exporting Fish

31 August 2008

Kendari, SE Sulawesi (ANTARA News) – The government must soon stop exporting fish in 10 years` time to avoid the threat of fish crisis in 2015, a spokesman said.

Most fish stocks in a number of Indonesian waters such as Natuna waters and Java Sea were being over-exploited, Secretary General of the People`s Coalition for Fisheries Justice (KIARA) Riza Danamik said here on Sunday.

“The government must take a prompt measure to avoid a fish crisis in Indonesia by temporarily stopping fish exports,” he said at a function marking the launch of a book “Netting the Last Fish”, organized by the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi).

Fish catches in several parts of the country had been declining, thus making it difficult for the national fishery industry to meet the needs for raw materials, Riza said.

The condition might give rise to a horizontal conflict among fishermen because of declining fish stocks while at the same time the number of fishing boats continued to increase, he said.

Riza said the government must also be serious about dealing with other threats such as fish thefts by foreign ships, abuse of permits to use fishing-tackle and illegal fish exports.

“If the government keeps exporting fish to meet demand from the international market, a fish crisis which is expected to affect Indonesia in 2015 will be inevitable,” he said.

Indonesia`s fish production currently stood at 6.8 million tons, nearly 70 percent of which was sea fish, he said.

About 20 percent of the country`s fish production was exported, he said.

Source: Antara