Indonesia Sinks FV Viking
Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti led the Anti-Illegal Fishing Task Force or Task Force 115 to sink fishing vessel (FV) Viking at Pangandaran East Coast, Ciamis Regency, West Java, on Monday (14/3) afternoon. This action is a real evidence of Indonesian Governments efforts to fight illegal fishing.
Minister Susi, as the leader of Task Force 115, said that the purpose of the sinking is to give a deterrent effect to the offenders and also as a warning to other vessels not to illegally catch fishes in Indonesia.
It is also to give a deterrent effect so that foreign vessels do not dare to illegally catch fishes in our territory. In addition, it is also a warning to illegal fishing vessels not to come to Indonesia, the Minister firmly said.
The FV Viking was sunk so that it cannot be used anymore. Half of the body of this 1,322 GT vessel was sunk and the top part of the vessel can be seen from the East Coast of Pangandaran. It becomes a monument that shows the struggle against illegal fishing.
Indonesia will be the final resting place for FV Viking. The sinking is the Indonesian Governments contribution as part of being global citizen in fighting illegal fishing, Susi said.
The FV Viking was caught entering Indonesias territory on 26 February 2016. This vessel was caught because it entered Indonesias Exclusive Economic Zone, 12.7 miles from Tanjung Uban, Bintan, Riau Islands Province, Indonesia.
Minister Susi affirmed that the investigation was carried out without judicial proceedings. However, Norwegian Interpol as well as government institutions of Indonesia still involved in the investigation.
The FV Viking is categorized by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) as an outlaw vessel.It has done illegal activities at the area of CCAMLRs convention. This vessel was also on Interpols 2013 Purple-Notice list which was renewed by Norway in January 2015. For the last 10 years, FV Viking has operated under 12 different names and used 8 different flags.
International Law Violation
Based on the track record and other findings, according to Susi, it is clear that the Viking has violated a number of provisions of conservation measures that are regulated by an international law.
Moreover, the world must also pay attention to the network of the vessels owner and operator as well as the market that becomes the destination of their catches, such as Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Angola, Congo, Spain, and the United States.
These preliminary findings are still studied by Task Force 115 in collaborating with Multilateral Investigation Support Team (MIST) from Norway and Canada, Susi stated.
Minister Susi also firmly told global citizens that FV Viking is a real evidence that illegal fishing is a transnational organized crime. Illegal fisihing harrases the sovereignty of many countries. It cannot be allowed, she said.
The Government of Indonesia will enhance the cooperation with a number of countries to uncover the modus operandi and the real owner of this ship. Support and cooperation from Singapore and Thailand that often become a stopover place for this ship is very important in order to reveal the real owner, she said. (Biro Kerjasama dan Humas KKP/RMI/ES) (MMB/YM/Naster)