INDONESIA – The effort to optimize international trading of tuna meets its drawback dealing with illegal trading towards. Indonesia is suspected smuggling blue fin tuna to Japan and is subject to sanctions because of that. General Secretary of People Coalition for Just Fisheries (Kiara), Riza Damanik, stated in one of his visit to Jakarta that based on current reports, the illegal tuna trading took place in 2010.
Blue fin tuna is sold with a commodity name as yellow fin. This is wrong and is a loss for sellers. Blue fin tuna is a high value commodity which can be sold up to 1,500 – 3,000 yen per kilogram while yellow fin tuna can only be sold around 600 – 1,200 yen per kilogram, depending on the freshness and size.
The Minister of Aqua cultural and Fisheries, Fadel Muhammad, admits that Indonesia is indeed accused on smuggling illegal tuna to Japan. “This case is still under further investigation. We don’t have any exact number yet. What I know is only the news that Indonesia is suspected on illegal trading,” so he said. Fadel affirmed comprehensive investigation is needed considering tuna trading at international level is highlighted due to keeping the fish from extinction.
If it’s proven that Indonesia smuggles Blue Fin Tuna to Japan, it will cause a huge damage to its trading activities. Not only it will ruin its image internationally, but will also cause sanction to its quota. International may apply sanction by decreasing Indonesia’s quota in tuna fisheries. “Our government needs to immediately anticipate the possibilities of any sanctions. Thus, we can overcome issues and problems at international level which may hit our credibility in global tuna trading communities,” said Riza.
Director of Fisheries department of Aqua Culture and Fisheries Ministry, Agus Budhiman, confirms that the contraband tuna issues have been tackled by the government. CCSBT has accepted Indonesia’s clarification without any objection as long as no such case will occur again in the future. Other than joins with CCSBT, Indonesia is also a member of Indian Ocean Tuna Comission (IOTC) and temporary member of West Coast Pacific Fisheries Comission (WCPFC).
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