Remarks by Ambassador Blake on Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing, @America, Jakarta
Pak Ota from the IUU Task Force;
Shinto Nugroho from Google Indonesia;
Aditya Utama Surono from MDPI;m
Our MC Dr. Arif Satria, Dean of Human Ecology at the Bogor Agricultural Institute (IPB),
Good afternoon and welcome to @america!
We are delighted to host a discussion with friends from government, academia, industry, and the NGO community to discuss a concern shared by the U.S. and Indonesia: Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing.
This has been an area of increased cooperation between the US and Indonesia.
During President Jokowi’s visit to Washington last October, we signed a Maritime MOU with Indonesia.
Under that MOU, we are deepening our engagement in 5 priority areas:
- Maritime Security
- Maritime Economy
- Marine Resources & Fisheries Conservation and Management
- Maritime Safety and Navigation
- Marine Science & Technology
To help support that work, several US Government agencies have important programs under way.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched in December a 5-year, $33 million sustainable fisheries project focused on a particularly biodiverse area within the Coral Triangle.
This complements ongoing USAID support for the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries on marine protected area and fisheries management provided by U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
We also have robust engagement in marine science, as evidenced by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s cooperation with BMKG and other local partners to maintain the RAMA array of weather buoys off the west coast of Sumatra.
In fact, BMKG and NOAA will conduct a mission next month to service this observation array.
On the law enforcement front, the U.S. Government is also partnering with the Indonesian Government to enhance the ability of enforcement agencies to investigate and disrupt transnational crime, including IUU fishing.
Implemented by the Department of Justice’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training (OPDAT), this collaboration helps build professionalism among prosecutors and judges that will handle IUU cases.
We are also exploring a new partnership with Interpol to assist Indonesia in the effective enforcement of national and international fisheries law, with a focus on IUU fishing.
Similarly, the DOJ’s International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance (ICITAP) program is helping develop Indonesia’s law enforcement capacity by augmenting their analytical and investigative capability and IT system integration.
ICITAP will provide training, technical assistance and limited equipment donation that will focus on information-based law enforcement operations and monitoring and surveillance capabilities with the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, the Indonesian Marine Police, and Bakamla to address IUU crimes and other transnational organized crimes at sea.
Two concluding points: first we have discussed in previous @america and other events that many transnational crimes are linked. So as we make progress to combat illegal fishing, we will also be making a difference to curb other illegal activities such as Trafficking in Persons, smuggling of illegal drugs, wildlife products, and illegal exports of logs.
Second, I want to praise Minister Susi and her IUU Task Force for the progress they are making to reduce illegal fishing. I have been fortunate to travel in recent months to Ambon, Ternate and Papua. In each place I have made a point of meeting with fishermen. All of them have said that the Task Force’s curbing of illegal fishing already has had a noticeable impact: they are catching more and larger fish and they do not have to go as far out to sea to get their catch.
I’m excited to have this all-star panel for today’s event. And I look forward to hearing some of their solutions for ways to address this pressing issue.