Indonesia and Australia to Resume Joint Patrol After Suspension Over Fishing Ships Burning Row

Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs And Fisheries and Australian Border Force to resume Jawline-Arafura joint patrol.

The Jawline-Arafura joint patrol involving the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) and the Australian Border Force (ABF) will be carried out over the next week. 

Previously, Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries gave a firm response to the Australian Authority who have set fire to three Indonesian fishing boats which illegally entered Australian's waters. This firm response was shown by postponing joint patrol until the ministry received further explanation from the ABF (8/11/2021).

The implementation of the operation involving the assets of the surveillance vessels and monitoring aircraft of the two authorities demonstrates the commitment of the two countries in combating illegal fishing practices on border area.

"We have dispatched the Orca 04 Fishery Surveillance Vessel and airborne surveillance to take part in the Jawline-Arafura joint operation," said TNI Admiral Adin Nurawaluddin, Director General of Marine and Fishery Resources Supervision (11/11/2021), as quoted from the Ministry of KKP website.

TNI Admiral Adin Nurawaluddin, Director General of Marine and Fishery Resources Supervision. (Photo: Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries)
TNI Admiral Adin Nurawaluddin, Director General of Marine and Fishery Resources Supervision. (Photo: Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries)

Adin explained that the Jawline-Arafura is carried out as a form of commitment from the two countries to continue to work together in dealing with illegal fishing problems that occurred at the border of the two countries. Furthermore, Adin added that both parties have the same concern regarding the escalation of the increase in cross-border violations.

"We hope that the patrols and cooperation carried out will have a positive impact in efforts to overcome obstacles in the border area," said Adin.

The same sentiment was conveyed by the Director of Fleet Monitoring and Operations, Pung Nugroho Saksono who said that the Jawline-Arafura which is being held this year is a good momentum for the two countries to increase the effectiveness of future joint operations. Saksono hopes that apart from the training mission, the operation this time can provide deterrent effect on the violators at the border.

"It is hoped that the presence of the two countries at the border will send a clear message that both countries are committed to eradicate illegal fishing," said Saksono. 

Previously, the Jawline-Arafura Operation was postponed by the Directorate General of PSDKP KKP after the Australian authorities, the ABF, burned three Indonesian fishing boats. 

After the ABF provided clarification regarding the incident, Indonesia then agreed to carry out coordinated patrols that can be carried out within the framework of the Indonesia Australia Fisheries Surveillance Forum (IAFSF) cooperation. 

ABF Clarification for the Ship Burning Issue

ABF explained that the burning was carried out in October 2021 and was an action regulated in Australian national regulations to ensure the security, safety of fishermen, and prevent potential pests or diseases.

The ABF also explained that no fishermen were detained in the incident, all of whom were well treated and were asked to leave Australian waters. The fishermen from the three vessels that were burned were transported on other Indonesian vessels which were let go. 

The cooperation between the two countries is one of the KKP's strategies in eradicating illegal fishing. Previously, the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Sakti Wahyu Trenggono, also conveyed the importance of cooperation between countries in fighting illegal fishing practices. Trenggono also expressed his concern about the need to control the fishing fleet by the flag state.