Jakarta (Antara Bali) - Marine and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti on Sunday protested China over an incident in Indonesian waters off Natuna involving a Chinese fishing vessel and a coastguard ship.

The incident began when the Hiu 11 of the Marine and Fisheries Ministry (KKP) intercepted and detained the KM Kway Fey 10078, a Chinese fishing vessel on Saturday afternoon.

When KM Kway Fey was to be brought to land by the KKP officers, a Chinese coast guard ship struck the Chinese fishing vessel apparently to prevent it from being taken away by the KKP officers.

In a bid to prevent conflicts the KKP officers returned to the Hiu 11 and carried with them the 8 crew members of the Chinese fishing vessels.

"I will lodge strong diplomatic protest," the minister told reporters on Sunday.

She said the incident took place in the Indonesian economic exclusive zone (EEZ).

"The intervention  by the Chinese coast guard ship was a blatant violation of  the Indonesian sovereignty," she said adding she would  summon the Chinese ambassador for explanation.

She said she had discussed the incident in a meeting with the foreign ministry.

She said Indonesian waters have become a target of illegal fishing  as fishes are getting scarce in the oceans.

She cited fishing vessel FV Viking, a fugitive from justice wanted by the international police .  
"I said  FV Viking is an evidence of international organized crime in  the fishery sector," the minister said.

She said  illegal fishing is a crime insulting the sovereignty of many nations, therefore illegal fishing has to be eliminated.

Earlier, new head of the Sea Security Agency (Bakamla) Rear Admiral Arie Soedewo pledged to act firmly against sea crimes including drug smuggling and illegal fishing
Arie said Bakamla is preparing a "stinging" strategy against anyone backing  up the illicit operations.

"I am ready to sacrifice myself  in the war against the crimes in the sea  as I am confident that God and President Jokowi would back me up," he said referring to President Joko Widodo.

He said one of the effective systems to detect any suspicious movements in the seas is installation of radar and surveillance system connected to all stakeholders that legal action could be taken together by Bakamla , the navy, police and the customs office.

He said potential loss in income from the sea is hundreds of trillions of rupiahs  per year by illegal fishing and smuggling.

Meanwhile investment to improve the quality of human resources  and technology for sea monitoring is limited, he said.

"Such is the condition allowed to go on for years to be enjoyed by sea Mafia  backed up by corrupt officials," he said, adding the the budget for sea surveillance has apparently  been intentionally kept small. (WDY)

Editor: I Gusti Bagus Widyantara
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