Last Friday, December 5, Indonesia made their most extreme move against illegal fishing yet.
According to Rappler, three Vietnamese boats, which were found trespassing in the Anambas Islands, were fired at and blown up.
In collaboration with other government agencies, the Indonesian navy sank the three boats.
“The message we want to convey is that no foreigners should steal from Indonesian waters,” navy spokesman Manahan Simorangkir said.
He also added that the locals have the right to “benefit from their own waters.”
This move is part of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s campaign to put a stop to the foreigners fishing illegally in local waters.
The Indonesian economy is experiencing a five-year low, with illegal fishing resulting in a loss in revenue amounting up to billions of dollars.
Besides the monetary disadvantages, the practice also damages the environment with its use of explosives and cyanide.
According to Indonesia’s 2009 Fisheries Law, the authorities are allowed to burn or sink foreign vessels found fishing illegally in the country.
In fact, the Jakarta Post reported that 33 of 38 foreign vessels caught encroaching in their waters between 2007 and 2012 were dealt with the same way.
Last month, 33 people were detained and three tonnes of fish were seized from caught ships.
President Jokowi is hopeful that these efforts will help improve the economic slump in Indonesia.