The House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday to implement a UN agreement calling on Indonesia to regulate fishing activities for certain species in its exclusive economic zones (EEZ). All 10 factions resoundingly backed the bill, which aims to implement the provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982), during
a plenary session.
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Freddy Numberi said he appreciated the support offered by the factions for the UN agreement, which has been ratified by almost all UN member countries. “This ratification is an important step forward for Indonesia’s marine sectors, because we now have the right to fully manage and utilize the potential of our regional open-seas fisheries,” he said.
More than two-thirds of Indonesia’s territory consists of seas, with the nation’s coasts stretching almost 100,000 kilometers. “Not to mention that our country is geographically located between the Pacific and Indian oceans. Statistics show that Indonesia has a very large potential in managing straddling and highly migratory fish stocks in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and in the high seas,” he said.
Straddling fish are populations existing around the boundaries of a nation’s EEZ and the high seas, with some drifting out’ of an EEZ while others float into’ it. On the other hand, migratory fish are those which generally roam over large distances and may be found in numerous EEZ areas. The United Nations Implementing Agreement (UNIA) 1995 stipulates basic standards and regulations regarding the management and conservation of these certain fish species. The agreement on the regulations and standards has been ratified by 75 countries and effectively commenced on Nov. 11, 2001.
UNIA 1995 also awards Indonesia the full authority to organize efforts to cooperate with other countries in terms of the monitoring and law enforcement of illegal fishing activities. (hdt)