Dr Jonson Lumban Gaol Shares an Alternative Way to Overcome IUU Fishing in Natuna

Dr. Jonson Lumban Gaol, a lecturer from the Department of Marine Science and Technology, IPB University, shares his views on the practice of illegal fishing (IUU fishing) in the Natuna by the foreign fishermen. According to him, there are three things that need to take into account by the Indonesian people in order to reduce the IUU fishing of marine resources in Natuna.

First and foremost, it is necessary to strategically conduct a continuous monitoring and supervision of foreign fishing vessels which was sailing in Indonesian marine areas. This monitoring and supervision can be done conventionally or it can also by utilizing the existing technological advancement such as satellites.

 "We can conduct the surveillance by using various methods, such as non-conventional methods with the satellite technology," said Dr Jonson.

 Some of the technologies that have been used to monitor ships in the world comprises the automatic identification system (AIS) and the vessel monitoring system (VMS). In addition, this satellite technology can also be used from the optical imagery sensors, night-time optical imagery from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) and the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) instruments.

 The use of this satellite technology is intended to monitor fishing vessels that are not broadcasting their cureent position either via AIS or VMS and they are basically in the dark mode on the public monitoring system.

"Most of the fishing vessels in Indonesia are not broadcasting their position and they are infact on the dark conditions when it comes to the public monitoring system," said Dr Jonson.

Thanks to the current technological advancement, with the help of satellite technology, fishing vessels can be monitored in a very real time manner. This satellite technology can also monitor ships that turn off their signals from AIS and its VMS. Satellites with the VIIRS instrument can monitor fishing vessels that turn on lighting when conducting fishing operations at night. Usually, these fishing vessels target squid and fish that have some sort of positive phototaxis or those who loves the light.

 Dr Jonson further explained that fishing vessels usually operated at night. Therefore, supervision with conventional methods such as patrols will actually be difficult to carry out, especially if there are no adequate facilities and human capital in the field.

Given that such conditions, Dr. Jonson suggested the government to strengthen the monitoring system of fishing vessels in Indonesian marine area by integrating the existing technology.

 "The integration of this technology is very necessary because each method has their own advantages and disadvantages,"

Even though we have managed to integrate technology and ita methods, Dr. Jonson said that there is a need for support in the development of fishing fleets or vessels, especially for Indonesian fishermen in the countries border. "These fishing vessels, apart from doing fishing businesses as usual, they are also as the guardians of Indonesian marine," he emphasizes.

Based on the satellite data, there are fewer Indonesian fishermen at the Natuna border compared to the fishermen from Malaysia and Vietnam. He estimated that the presence of these few fishermen could be happened due to the fact that the Indonesian fishing vessels was solely able to sail around the Natuna coastal waters, even though the Natuna sea areas is still stretched wide to the border in the very first place.

"The support of this fleet is absoultely important, made it possible for the fishermen so that they can also optimally extract our marine resources. If the fleet is relatively small, fishermen will not actually dare to go out to the sea, especially if the weather is in extreme conditions”, Dr Jonson further elaborated.

However, he firmly hopes that the government and companies can provide more attractive incentives for fishermen who are going to sail the sea in order to catch the fish. These incentives can be in the form of an increase in the selling price of their fish and the increase of salaries for the vessels crews, then it could make more and more young people are interested in becoming the fishermen and at the same time, they can manage in becoming the marine guardian to monitor Indonesian waters from the illegal,unregulated, and unreported fishing (IUU Fishing) by the foreign vessels. (RA)

Published Date : 07-May-2021

Resource Person : Dr Jonson Lumban Gaol

Keyword : theft of fish, natuna fish, fishing boats, IUU Fishing