The chairman of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), Hidayat Nur Wahid, has urged the government to seek a resolution with the Philippines on the fate of tuna breeding grounds in the Arafura Sea.
The natural cycle of tuna reproduction in the Arafura has been disrupted because of nets laid by Philippine fishermen that block access to breeding grounds, Hidayat said in Bogor on Saturday.
As a result, the sea’s tuna population is in jeopardy, as is the livelihood of Indonesian fishermen in the region, particularly those from Sulawesi and Papua, he added.
“If this problem persists, the government should take the matter up at the ASEAN leaders’ summit,” Hidayat said at the national meeting of the Indonesian Farmers and Fishermen Prosper Association.
Domestic fishing activities in the Arafura Sea are also threatened by widespread illegal fishing conducted by foreign trawlers, he added.
In January, a 15-day operation by the Indonesian Marine Security coordinating board intercepted 33 foreign trawlers — seven of them from China — operating in the Arafura Sea without proper sailing or fishing permits.
Article from Theresia Sufa , The Jakarta Post , Bogor | Sat, 09/06/2008 7:06 PM | National