'Ruthless' Indonesian minister sank 500 illegal boats

KUALA LUMPUR: Indonesia's tough policy against the theft of marine resources in its waters, while controversial, paid off handsomely when it helped the domestic fisheries industry recover.

The republic's former marine and fisheries minister Susi Pudijastuti's method of either burning or sinking illegal foreign vessels bore fruit when Indonesia registered 8.64 per cent growth in its fisheries industry in the first quarter of 2015.

She said the tough policy was a serious consequence for those who entered the republic's waters illegally.

She earned a reputation as a "ruthless" minister in combatting illegal fishing during Indonesian President Joko Widodo's first term.

Susi sank more than 500 illegal fishing vessels until 2019.

In 2019, her ministry sank 51 foreign ships, 38 of which were from Vietnam, six from Malaysia, two from China and one from the Philippines.

The policy, however, resulted in a backlash from several parties, including environmentalists, in the republic. It was discontinued when Susi was replaced by Edhy Prabowo, who said he would not continue with Susi's policy.

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