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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

NGO : Govt inconsistent in dealing with illegal fish imports

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The marine affairs and fishery ministry has been inconsistent in dealing with illegal fish imports as thousands of tons of illegally imported fish are still pouring into the domestic market, according to an NGO.

The inconsistency in handling illegal fish imports reflected the ministry`s weak supervision, Program Coordinator of marine environmental NGO Kiara Abdul Halim said in a press statement here Wednesday.

The ministry`s organization management system has caused domestic fish consumers to face quality and safety uncertainty of fish products available in the market, he said.

According to data from the fish quarantine and aquaculture quality control and safety agency, 12,060 tons or 245 containers of illegally imported fish were seized. Of the total, 2,360 tons were allowed to enter into the domestic market, 4,172 tons or 152 containers were reexported, and 2,399 tons were reexported to the countries of origin.

Letting 2,360 tons to go into the domestic market was a bad precedence for legal enforcement efforts, according to Abdul.

To supervise fish imports into Indonesia, the marine affairs and fisheries ministry has issued a ministerial regulation No. 17/2010 on aquaculture quality control and safety .

Allowing illegally imported fish into the domestic market was inconsistent with the ministry`s regulation, he said.

"The problem is that certain fish suppliers have been accused of receiving and processing fish collected from illegal practices. If we allow it to continue, Indonesia will be seen as illegal fish producer internationally, and of course we don`t want that," he stated.

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