North Sulawesi Urge to Form The Regional Regulations For Better Protection Of Their Fisheries Workers

The commitment of the North Sulawesi government to advance their marine and fisheries sector is seen by the large attention to the development of this sector. In recent years, this attention has been widened with interventions through the development of human resources working in this sector.

One of the concrete evidences is the issuance of the Decree of the Governor of North Sulawesi No. 117 of 2020 concerning the Establishment of the North Sulawesi Fishing Vessel Crew Protection Forum. The decree and the forum became the legitimacy and foundation of marine and fisheries development in North Sulawesi.

By focusing on the aspect of workers, especially the recognition of human rights of workers working in the marine and fisheries sector, especially fishing crews.

This was conveyed by the Secretary of North Sulawesi Province, Steve Kepel at the North Sulawesi Fishing Vessel Crew Protection Regional Forum meeting in Manado, Tuesday, March 14, 2023. The Forum and The Regional Action Plan for the Protection of the North Sulawesi Fishing Vessel Crew prepared in 2020 was a form of the North Sulawesi government’s commitment to protecting their Fishing Vessel Crews.

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“The implementation of the North Sulawesi Fishing Vessel Crew Protection Regional Action Plan has succeeded in strengthening cross-sectoral coordination, both central and regional agencies, business actors, fishers unions, media and NGOs in efforts to protect the fishing vessel crews,” said Steve.

Given that the term of the Regional Forum ends in 2023, there is an urgency to extend the Regional Forum and the Regional Action Plan.

“This meeting is to evaluate the performance of the Forum and the preparation of the 2023-2026 Fishing Vessel Crew Protection Regional Action Plan,” said Steve.

On the same occasion, the Head of the North Sulawesi Manpower Office, Ir. Erni Tumundo said that one of the achievements of the Regional Forum was to successfully strengthen coordination between stakeholders, initiate guidelines for supervision and implementation of the Joint Inspections of Fishing Vessel Crews in Bitung city and encourage the birth of the North Sulawesi United Fishing Vessel Crew Union.

“Joint supervision of fishing vessel crews is important to ensure that the working conditions on board met the labor standards” said Erni.

This is a very good step and achievement because it will become a barometer of North Sulawesi at the national level in an effort to improve the governance of fishing vessel crews.

Lecturer of the Faculty of Law, Sam Ratulangi University, Dr. Dani Robert Pinasang proposed that the North Sulawesi provincial government make a Regional Regulation for the Protection of Fisheries Workers. “There is a strong urgency for this area to draft a Regional Regulation for the Protection of Fisheries Workers,” Dani said.

According to Dani, the Regional Regulation must meet two conditions, namely the order of the laws and the exercise of authority. Based on that, legal politics needs to be a consideration of whether the existing regulations can accommodate the community’s sense of justice or not.

“So it is important that from now on we need to compile an Inventory List of Problems which is the basis for the preparation of the Fisheries Workers Protection Regional Regulation,” said Dani.

Meanwhile, the National Coordinator of Destructive Fishing Watch (DFW) Indonesia, Moh Abdi Suhufan, said that based on his party’s assistance and cooperation with the North Sulawesi provincial government in the protection of Fishing Crews, there are various important issues that need to be anticipated.

“Regional Forum data states that throughout 2020-2023 there were 40 complaints with total of 79 victims of fishing vessel crews in North Sulawesi,” said Abdi.

This portrait is like the tip of the iceberg because there are actually many victims who have not or do not want to report their cases.

As the center of the tuna fishing industry and an area that supplies fishing vessel crews, North Sulawesi needs to strengthen the coordination, regulation and institutions of the Fisheries Workers Protection Forum.

If in these 3 years the Forum works on the basis of the Governor’s Decree, then for the next 3 years there needs to be a stronger policy base in the form of Regional Regulations.

” The Regional Regulation on the Protection of Fisheries Workers will become a regulatory basis for the North Sulawesi Regional Apparatus Organization to synergize programmatically and budgetally in the implementation of fisheries worker protection initiatives,” Abdi concluded.

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