Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Photo: AFP/VNA)
Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo has stressed the importance of global collaboration in combatting illegal fishing, which has become a transnational crime.

Speaking at the opening of the International Fisheries Crime Symposium in Yogyakarta on October 10, Joko Widodo stated that illegal fishing activities are also linked to other crimes, such as the smuggling of goods, human and drug trafficking, and environment conservation violations, which all have grown into well-organised transnational crimes.

He said that the sea is an income source for 520 million people and provides food for 2.6 billion people in countries across the world. “Illegal fishing practices have reduced the global fish stocks by 90.1 percent,” he went on.

The President cited data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) revealing that Indonesia ranked second in fisheries production in 2014, with a total catch of 6 million tonnes, or 6.8 percent of the total world production.

“Illegal fishing has resulted in economic losses amounting to 20 billion USD per year in Indonesia and threatens 65 percent of our coral reefs,” he said.

The International Fisheries Crime Symposium drew the participation of 46 countries including Australia, Austria, China, India, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Vietnam. It offered a chance for participants to discuss issues related to marine crimes such as illegal fishing, human and drug trafficking, tax fraud and money laundering.-VNA