DFW demands Indonesian Government to Investigate Ocean Crime in Arafura Sea

The Ministry of Marine and Fisheries Affairs Directory of Marine and Fishery Resources Surveillance (PSDKP)’s Orca 6 captured Indonesian-flagged fishery vessel, KM MUS, at the Arafura Sea or Indonesia Fishery Area 718 on 14th April 2024. The apprehension was a result of public report concerning indication of transhipment from foreign vessel RZ 03 and RZ 05.

At the same time, National Fisher Centre (NFC), a grievance channel mechanism operated by Destructive Fishing Watch (DFW) received complaints from 5 fishery vessel workers that were recruited and worked in Indonesian-flagged vessel, KM Mus.

According to one of the fishery vessel workers, SI, they were recruited by informal broker in Pati, Central Java, in March 2024. They were recruited through social media (Facebook) that lured them to work in the fishery vessel workers with salary Rp 2,000,000, catching bonus Rp 500,000, and financial loan Rp 5 – 7 million. They were recruited without Work-At-Sea Contract and had their National ID confiscated by the broker. In April 2024, SI with other 55 fishery vessel workers departed with KM MUS to Arafura Sea. By the time they reached Arafura Sea, they transferred the fish from KM RZ 03 to KM MUS. KM MUS, however, is a collecting ship.

The fishery vessel workers questioned their rights that includes catching bonus and holiday bonus that were promised by the informal broker but denied by the skipper. Due to the uncertainty, on 11th April 2024, six fishery vessel workers decided to jump to to the sea where give were survived and rescued by the resident of Panambulai Island and one workers was missing. On 15th April 2024, the missing workers were found dead by the resident of Koijabi district. The workers, JA, originally from Binjai, North Sumatera.

Read also : Bisnis KKP Buru Kapal Cina Ilegal yang Melakukan Penangkapan Ikan di Perairan Indonesia

DFW Indonesia appreciate and support the action and effort made by KKP that was rapidly enforced law by capturing KM MUS that is allegedly involved in ocean crime as indicated by transhipment, illicit fuel transacation, and human trafficking. However, the government needs to ensure the rights of repatriation of 16 fishery vessell workers to their hometown, including recovering their salary and social insurance.

Furthermore, DFW encourages KKP and Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL) to united in the pursuance of RZ 03 and RZ 05. Allegedly, Indonesian fishery vessel workers were still at the vessel. DFW demand the law enforcement to investigate the involving actors of ocean crime (transhipment, illicit fuel transcation, and human trafficking) that claimed the life of Indonesian citizen.

DFW also demand KKP to inspect the collecting vessel that indicated carrying subsidized fuel that later to be trafficking, including to hold regular check on the working condition of the workers and the working equipment.

Read also : Rentetan Pelanggaran Hak Awak Kapal Perikanan di Pelabuhan Muara Baru

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