The chairman of Indonesia's largest Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Said Aqil Siradj, has expressed support for the government's policy of sinking any boats found poaching in Indonesian waters.
"We, the members of NU, support the policy to sink boats that poach [in Indonesian waters\ and bring their crew for trial in court," Said Aqil said in Magelang, Central Java, on Wednesday as quoted by Antara news agency.
He emphasized that stringent action should be taken to protect the country's abundant natural resources.
"We hope that the government is firm. Do not let our wealth be exploited by tycoons, moreover, foreign tycoons. We still have very many poor people in this country," he said.
Said Aqil said he appreciated Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti for implementing such a firm policy.
Every night, foreign poachers stole Indonesian fish, and in the morning, they left for the open seas, he added.
"Hopefully, the policy will be seriously implemented, as we have lost trillions or even hundreds of trillions of rupiah to poaching by foreign fishing boats," he noted.
The government of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has said it is committed to taking the strongest possible action against foreign illegal fishing vessels, warning that Indonesia will not hesitate to sink them if necessary.
Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Gen. Moeldoko revealed that the TNI had been looking for the best possible way to sink foreign vessels found fishing illegally in Indonesian waters.
"Following Jokowi's instruction to sink foreign illegal fishing vessels, I have requested the Navy chief of staff to find the best possible way to carry out the President's order," Moeldoko said.