The ninth meeting of the Australia-Indonesia Ministerial Forum (AIMF) was held in Canberra on 12 November 2008. The Australian delegation was led by Stephen Smith MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs. The Indonesian delegation was led by Dr N. Hassan Wirajuda, Minister for Foreign Affairs and including Minister Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Freddy Numberi.
There are two important statements related to marine affairs and fisheries (under Section of Shared Responses to Regional and Global Challenges items 14 and 15) as follows:
- Ministers noted joint measures to tackle illegal fishing, including through public information campaigns, regional workshops, improved information sharing, capacity building, port visits and coordinated fisheries surveillance activities. Ministers also referred to the shared commitments for effective implementation of the Regional Plan of Action (RPOA) to promote responsible fishing practices, including combating IUU fishing in the region, adopted in Bali 4 May 2007. Ministers expressed their concern at the links in many cases between illegal fishing and transnational organised crime groups. Ministers further noted the need to explore effective measures in combating this issue, including within the framework of the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime. Likewise, the Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen bilateral cooperation in preventing and combating IUU fishing, including through the comprehensive framework of the Lombok Treaty.
- Ministers further noted the need for both sides to conduct joint research in order to assess the level of sustainability of fisheries stocks in the area covered by the 1974 Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Australia and the Government of Indonesia regarding the Operation of Indonesian Traditional Fishermen in Areas of the Australian Exclusive Fishing Zone and Continental Shelf (MoU Box) and its Practical Arrangement of 1989. Ministers noted the need to develop innovative ways to progress all aspects of management measures in the MOU Box, acknowledging the interests of traditional fishermen and the importance of sustainability of the resources.
Complete Joint Ministerial Statement – 9th Australia-Indonesia Ministerial Forum can be found at the Hon Stephen Smith MP website.