Indonesia Postponed Joint Patrol After Australian Authority Burned Illegal Fishing Boats

Indonesia have postponed Arafuru-Jawline joint patrols with the Australian Border Force after the burning of fishing boats incident.

Nusatara Pol - Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) gave a firm response to the Australian Authority who have set fire to three Indonesian fishing boats. This firm response was shown by postponing joint patrol until the ministry received further explanation from the Australian Border Force (ABF).

"This is a response to developments that have occurred, we will postpone the joint patrol with Jawline-Arafura," said the Director General of Marine and Fishery Resources Supervision (PSDKP), Rear Admiral TNI Adin Nurawaluddin, in his statement as quoted from InfoPublik, Monday (8/11/2021).

Indonesian Coastguard Patrol Ships (Photo: BAMKALA)
Indonesian Coastguard Patrol Ships (Photo: BAMKALA)

Jawline-Arafura itself is a joint patrol of the ABF and the Directorate General of PSDKP KKP which is supposed to be carried out on the Indonesia-Australia border. This operation mobilizes the assets of surveillance ships and monitoring aircraft owned by both authorities in order to handle vulnerabilities at the borders of the two countries.

"It should have been carried out this week, but with the current developments, we are waiting for an official explanation from the ABF," said Adin.

Adin said that the explanation from the ABF is important to avoid confusion of information related to the identities of the three ships that were burned and the 13 others that were expelled from Australian waters.

Furthermore, Adin explained that the ministry have communicated with ABF representatives in Jakarta to obtain more detailed information regarding the incident on the fishing ships that had been burned.

"We have communicated with ABF representatives in Jakarta," said Adin.

Previously, the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Sakti Wahyu Trenggono also stated the importance of the state's role in fishing ships monitoring in order to unsure the sustainability of marine and fishery resources.

Minister Trenggono also asked the ranks of the Directorate General of PSDKP to carry out strict supervision to ensure compliance from the business actors in the marine and fisheries sector.

Based on the news circulating, the Australian authorities reportedly have set fire to three fishing boats from Indonesia out of the 16 fishing boats that got caught. 

The Australian authorities caught the boats while they were catching sea cucumbers illegally at Rowley Shoals Marine Park, Western Australia. 

This incident has been quite ironic as ship burning enforcement method would be familiar to Indonesian fishermen. It was also used by Indonesia's last fisheries minister, Susi Pudjiastuti. The previous fisheries minister was known to blow and burn illegal fishing ships from captured Chinese and Vietnamese fishermen which strayed into Indonesian waters.