REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- The Indonesian Traditional Fishermen Association (KNTI) claims that it still spots ships registered in China poaching in Indonesian waters.
"We continue to spot several China-registered vessels. We recognize them from their 9-digit MMSI (Maritime Mobile Service Identity) codes, which function as identities for ships. The digital codes are sent through a radio frequency channel," the KNTI chairman for strategic and public policy analysis, Suhana, said during a press conference here on Wednesday.
The movement of these Chinese vessels can be monitored on the website www.marinetraffic.com, he affirmed.
Suhana has urged all sides to take advantage of the free facility on the website, which provides AIS satellite data.
On Saturday, May 23, six ships from China were spotted poaching in Makassar Strait and Tomini Bay, he revealed.
"What is interesting is that no warship is deployed in Tomini Bay. So foreign ships can poach in the waters there," Suhana remarked.
One of the ships spotted in the bay had the initial L.
While the ship was in Indonesian waters, its AIS kept turning on and off. When the ship was spotted on Monday, May 25, it was in Chinese waters, he stated.
"The ship was in our waters for three days. I cannot estimate how much loss we incurred because it could not be caught red-handed. When I crosschecked whether the vessel was registered with the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, I found that it was not," Suhana pointed out.
In a news conference late last year, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti had said she had sent a formal protest to China's ambassador regarding the activities of Chinese vessels poaching in Indonesian waters.
Such illegal fishing practices, she had explained, are unfriendly acts and violate a country's sovereignty.