President Jokowi’s doctrine of the Global Maritime Fulcrum is representative of a national vision to develop the nation’s rich maritime identity both culturally and economically. The recently collated data of Indonesia’s economic performance in the first quarter of 2015 suggests that the fisheries sector outgrew the overall national growth with 8.64 % compared to the national GDP growth of 4.7%. Noting the importance of the fisheries sector, Indonesia seeks to fully maximize the potential of this industry by developing maritime highways and modern fishing ships, as well as regulating and improving the fisheries sectors in general across the country.
The Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries has been tasked with overlooking the development and regulation of this sector. This includes the abolishment of trans-shipment activities; illegal harvesting of fishes and revoking permits of fishing vessels that do not comply by the Ministry’s guidelines. The Ministry is also concerned with the presence of illegal fishing vessels that are operating in Indonesian waters and in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and has thus begun to improve its own surveillance capabilities, while forging closer working ties with the Police’s Water Unit (Polisi Air) and the Navy in eradicating this problem.
The Ministry’s policy on illegal vessel sinking has garnered much attention, although such policy is not unprecedented and has been practiced by the previous administration. Indeed what sets this same policy apart from that of the previous cabinet is the intensity and the rigor in its execution. Such policy, within the context of President Jokowi’s doctrine of the Global Maritime Fulcrum, is faced with several important questions that will have impacts on both Indonesia and the region. How has the vessel sinking policy helped to protect Indonesia’s maritime sovereignty? Has it had any ramification with its neighbours? What are the Ministry’s policies regarding maritime investment in Indonesia? What are the challenges faced by the Ministry in implementing the Global Maritime Fulcrum concept?
In this regard we are privileged to welcome Ibu Susi Pudjiastuti, Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, to share her thoughts on Indonesia’s marine affairs in domestic and regional contexts.
About the Speaker
Ibu Susi Pudjiastuti is currently serving as the Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of the Republic of Indonesia. Prior to her appointment as the Minister, she was a successful entrepreneur who had previously served as the President Director and owner of PT ASI Pudjiastuti Marine Product, a seafood export company, and PT ASI Pudjiastuti Aviation which operates Susi Air. She is also the recipient of several awards including the Award for Innovative Achievements, Extraordinary Leadership and Significant Contributions to the Economy which was conferred upon her during the APEC Women and the Economy Summit (WES) in 2011, as well as the Indonesian Small & Medium Business Entrepreneur Award presented by Indonesia’s Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs in 2010.
In her capacity as the Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Ibu Susi Pudjiastuti has been successful in introducing several innovative policies and resolutions, which includes resolving the perennial issue of Illegal, Unconventional, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in Indonesian territories. Ibu Susi Pudjiastuti is also lauded for her effectiveness in managing illegal vessels in Indonesian waters and also for enforcing stringent regulations upon fishery companies that flout the regulations of the industry.
In a public opinion survey carried out in mid-2015, the Indo Barometer Survey and Political Communication Institute put Ibu Susi Pudjiastuti as the best performing Minister according to members of the public and the media.
Organised by Indonesia Programme, IDSS and RSIS Events Unit.