The Government of West Papua Province was asked to form a regional task force to strengthen the security of marine waters.
West Papua Regional Police Chief of Water Police Commissioner Roy Hutton M Sihombing in Manokwari on Tuesday said that from 2016 to early 2019 the West Papua Regional Police and ranks had revealed seven cases of stealing ships, marine accidents of four cases, alcoholic drinks, illegal fishing 48 cases, use of explosives 11 cases and one case of management of coastal areas.
“From the cases handled, we found several problems in terms of fisheries governance and water areas. We hope that this will be the concern of the West Papua Provincial Government as the party that has the authority,” Hutton said at the Workshop on Law Enforcement on Waters and Fisheries Violations.
Other problems encountered, he said, were overlapping rules, legal awareness and the low level of community participation in law enforcement.
According to him, the area of marine waters in West Papua is quite extensive and has tremendous potential. On the other hand, the personnel and equipment possessed by the West Papua Regional Police and its staff are still limited.
“Our Polair personnel are only 118 people, one large C-1 ship unit, kill C-2 and 11 C-3 units. Our gas stations have 5 units to support the needs of the Polair Directorate and Pol Water Sat in all regions,” said Roy.
The presence of a task force is needed to optimize security in each of the territorial waters. He also advised the West Papua Provincial Government to reactivate the Fisheries Crime Communication Forum.
In the activity involving Conservation International (CI), the Director also recommended that the Provincial Government add supervision personnel, increase public awareness, and improve safeguards in an integrated manner.
Hutton added, West Papua was declared a conservation province. Supervision, law enforcement and community capacity building are needed to support the program.