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INDONESIA HAS SUNK 556 ILLEGAL BOATS : PUDJIASTUTI

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Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fishery, Susi Pudjiastuti.

Greatindonesia.co.id, Jakarta – Indonesia has sunk 556 illegal boats from October 2014 until present, including 21 foreign boats that the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry’s Illegal Fishing Task Force (Satgas 115) destroyed in West Kalimantan’s waters between Oct 4 and Oct 6, 2019.

Minister Susi Pudjiastuti revealed in a statement that ANTARA received here on Monday (7/10/2019) that 26 of the 556 illegal boats were Indonesian-flagged ones, while 321 Vietnamese, 91 Filipino, 87 Malaysian, 24 from Thailand, two of Papua New Guinea, three from China, and one each from Nigeria and Belize.

The foreign ships were sunk in line with the Law of Fishery and the judge’s verdict on the crime committed by the boat operators, Pudjiastuti, who chaired the task force, stated.

The minister revealed that of the 21 foreign ships, 18 were sunk in the waters near Pontianak City, West Kalimantan Province, on Oct 6, while the three others were sunk on Oct 4 in Sambas, the province’s westernmost district that shares its border with Malaysia.

Of the 21 foreign boats that were sunk, 16 were Vietnamese, while the two others were Malaysian.

Apart from these boats, the ministry had also planned to sink 19 other foreign boats in Belawan, Batam, and Natuna on Monday.

Since the minister assumed office in 2014, Pudjiastuti’s top program has entailed the sinking of foreign and local ships to clamp down on illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing in Indonesia’s waters.

In spite of some high-ranking officials averring the minister’s program as being ineffective, Pudjiastuti expounded that sinking the ships would deter the perpetrators. In mid-2019, Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan had informed the press of his plan to review Pudjiastuti’s measure to sink illegal fishing boats. (mrr)

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FISHERY MINISTRY EYES FOR 10.99 MILLION TONS SEAWEED YIELD IN 2020

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The strategy launched by the ministry aims to assure the quality and quantity of the seaweed yield this year, as the it has been part of the country's top export commodity.

Greatindonesia.co.id, Jakarta – Indonesia’s Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries increases a seaweed production target in 2020 to 10.99 million tons, from 9.9 million tons in 2019, a director general said in a statement here, on Sunday (19/1/2020).

The ministry has prepared initiatives and strategies for the next five years to raise seaweed production which covers 60.7 percent of the total fishery yield in the country, Director General of Aquaculture, Slamet Soebjakto stated in Jakarta, Sunday (19/1/2020).

The strategy launched by the ministry aims to assure the quality and quantity of the seaweed yield this year, as the it has been part of the country’s top export commodity.

“The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry has committed to increase seaweed exports as an effort to support Indonesia’s economy growth,” Soebjakto remarked.

According to records of UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2019, Indonesia is the world’s largest producer for Eucheuma or gusô (Eucheuma cottonii), a type of seaweed algae that commonly used as raw materials for carrageenan, an ingredient for cosmetics, food and drinks, as well as industrial manufacturing.

Indonesia also covers at least 80 percent of market share of seaweed trade in global market with China ranked first as top export destination for the product.

However, the ministry plans to increase added-value of Indonesia’s seaweed by restricting export of raw seaweed this year, Soebjekto remarked.

He expounded the ministry will increase exports more semi-refined carrageenan and refined carrageenan by 50 percent this year, as for the past years the raw seaweed export to China had reached nearly 80 percent. (ant)

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INDONESIA PLANS TO SLASH OIL IMPORTS TO OVERCOME TRADE DEFICIT

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Chief of SKK Migas, Dwi Soetjipto.

Greatindonesia.co.id, Jakarta – The plan of the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry to slash oil imports by state oil and gas company, Pertamina, is aimed at overcoming the country’s trade deficit, the Upstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Special Task Force, SKK Migas, said.

The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry will reportedly cut crude oil imports by 30 million barrels per year.

“This is part of our efforts to deal with the trade deficit. Only crude oil import will be reduced. If crude oil imports are reduced, then we must optimize domestic production,” Chief of SKK Migas, Dwi Soetjipto, said at the SKK Migas Office in Jakarta on Wednesday (15/1/2020).

The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) announced earlier that Indonesia’s balance of trade recorded a deficit of US$3.2 billion last year.

Since the quota of Pertamina’s oil import has been reduced, the country must push domestic fuel production through the mandatory use of 30 percent blended biodiesel (B30) in 2020, he said.

The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has targeted the production of biodiesel or fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) to reach 10 million kiloliters, with the domestic use of B30 projected to reach 9.6 million kiloliters.

Since the introduction of B30 late last year, the government has been able to curb fuel oil imports.

The use of biodiesel throughout 2019 reached 6.25 million kiloliters, or equivalent to US$3.35 billion or Rp48.19 trillion that the government could save, he said.

“The use of biodiesel will reduce (oil) imports,” Soetjipto said. (ant)

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A LEGISLATOR APPRECIATES GARUDA’S DECISION TO AVOID IRAN’S AIRSPACE

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Passengers of any airline, including Garuda, demand safe, secure, and comfortable flights so that they are able to arrive at their destinations safely.

Greatindonesia.co.id, Pati – A member of the House of Representatives (DPR) supports and appreciates Garuda Indonesia’s decision to reroute its flights to Europe to circumvent the airspace over Iran for the sake of aviation safety and security.

“As a national flag carrier, Garuda must prioritize the safety and security of its passengers,” Marwan Jafar, member of the National Awakening Party (PKB) faction, here on Sunday (12/1/2020) commenting on Garuda Indonesia’s decision which was made following the crash of a Ukrainian plane inside Iran.

According to BBC, the Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) Flight PS752 which carried 176 people on board was brought down by a missile shortly after taking-off from an Irainian airport on Wednesday (8/1/2020).

Jafar said all passengers of any airline, including Garuda, demand safe, secure, and comfortable flights so that they are able to arrive at their destinations safely. Therefore, the airlines should not take any risk for their passengers’ safety.

Many other airlines, including Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways, have also avoided the Iranian and Iraqi airspace following the Ukrainian plane crash amid growing tensions of the US-Iran relationship after Washington killed a top Iranian general.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has also banned the country’s operators from flying over the airspace owing to the soaring tensions of the US-Iran relationship.

In response to the recent killing of General Qassem Solaimani in a US airstrike in Iraq, Iran launched a retaliation attack on a US military compound in Iraq.

Acting Director of Operation of the airlines Tumpal M. Hutapea noted in a recent statement that Garuda Indonesia would adjust its flight route from and to Europe, which earlier passed over the airspace of Bucharest to the airspace of Egypt and Greece.

“Hence, all Garuda Indonesia services on the route can run normally,” he said, adding that Garuda would closely monitor developments of the situation in the region.

“We will intensively watch the development of the situation and coordinate with all stakeholders to ensure safety and security of Garuda Indonesia’s operation,” he remarked. (ant)

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