In 2014, the Indonesian government made an explosive decision: They began blowing up illegal fishing boats. Was this just a media stunt or an impactful method? The results are in.
Indonesia’s decision to impose a 1-year moratorium on foreign commercial fishing vessels and blowing up or sinking the rule-breakers reduced the islands commercial fishing by a total of 25 percent, according to a new study published in Nature Ecology & Evolution.
During the period of strict enforcement, a task force comprised of Indonesia’s navy, coast guard, and marine police captured and obliterated nearly one boat per day. “We sank 363 illegal fishing vessels to send a signal of strong enforcement and to create a deterrent effect,” Mas Mas Achmad Santosa, special advisor to the Indonesia Presidential Task Force to Combatting Illegal Fishing, told Scientific American.
The decrease is significant for the island nation’s 4 billion commercial fishing industry. A previous study estimated that even a 15 percent decrease in overall fishing could lead the country on a path towards sustainable fisheries. Read more in Scientific American.
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