Zaki Mubarok



The fight against illegal fishing by the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries has taken off. When investigating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, related transnational crimes activities such as trafficking in persons, slavery and drugs are also uncovered. In spite of the robust efforts and prompt responses, some challenges persist in terms of the inadequacy of legal frameworks governing these problems. Thus, the adequacy of the legal domain is a significant factor in pursuing the Ministry’s mission. The legal framework plays a pivotal role in addressing IUU fishing and transnational organized fisheries crimes and in setting a mechanism to prevent further expansion of these activities. In developing an in-depth analysis of the nexus between IUU fishing and transnational organized crimes, the two dimensions of intertwined national and international legal frameworks need to be examined. This article attempts to examine the existing Indonesian legal framework to combat IUU fishing and fisheries crimes within the context of relevant national and international laws and provide a critical discussion of the interplay between IUU fishing and transnational organized crimes.


Indonesia; IUU Fishing; Fisheries Crimes; Legal Framework and Transnational Organized Crimes


Legal documents

Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas (The Compliance Agreement), November 24, 1993, 2221 UNTS.

Indonesia. Peraturan Menteri Kelautan dan Perikanan Nomor 35/PERMEN-KP/2015 tentang Sistem dan Sertifikasi Hak Asasi Manusia pada Usaha Perikanan [Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Regulation Number 35/PERMEN-KP/2015 concerning System and Certification of Human Rights on Fisheries Business] (Indonesia).

Indonesia. Peraturan Presiden Republik Indonesia Nomor 115 Tahun 2015 tentang Satuan Tugas Pemberantasan Penangkapan Ikan Secara Ilegal [Presidential Regulation of Indonesia Number 155/2015 concerning the Task Force to Combat Illegal Fishing].

Indonesia. Peraturan Presiden Republik Indonesia Nomor 43 Tahun 2016 tentang Pengesahan Persetujuan tentang Ketentuan Negara Pelabuhan untuk Mencegah, Menghalangi, dan Memberantas Penangkapan Ikan yang Ilegal, Tidak Dilaporkan, dan Tidak Diatur [Presidential Regulation Number 43/2016 on the Ratification of Agreement on Port State Measure to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing].

Indonesia. Undang-undang Nomor 12 tahun 2011 tentang Pembentukan Peraturan Perundang-Undangan [Law on the Formulation of Laws and Regulations of 12/2011].

Indonesia. Undang-undang nomor 12 tahun 2012 tentang Usaha Perikanan Tangkap di Laut Lepas [Law No. 12/2012 on Capture Fisheries Business in the High Seas].

Indonesia. Undang-Undang Nomor 23 tahun 2014 tentang Pemerintahan Daerah [Law No. 23/2014 on Local Government].

Indonesia. Undang-Undang Nomor 32 tahun 2014 tentang Kelautan [Law No. 32/2014 on Ocean].

Indonesia. Undang-undang nomor 8 tahun 2010 tentang Pencegahan dan Pemberantasan Tindak Pidana Pencucian Uang [Law No. 8/2010 on Countermeasures and Eradication of Money Laundering].

Indonesia. Undang-Undang Perikanan Nomor 31 tahun 2004 sebagaimana diubah dengan Undang-Undang Nomor 45 tahun 2009 tentang Perikanan [Law No. 31/2004 as amended by Law No. 45/2009 on Fisheries].

Indonesia. Undang-Undang Republik Indonesia Nomor 5 Tahun 2009 tentang Pengesahan United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime [Law Number 5/2009 on the Ratification of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime].

Indonesia. Undang-Undang Republik Indonesia tahun 1945 [the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia 1945].

United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), opened for signature 12 to 15 December 2000, 2225 UNTS 209.

United States v. Bengis, 631 F.3d 33, 35-37 (NY. 2011).

Books and book chapters

Balton, D. “The Compliance Agreement.” In Development in International Fisheries Law, edited by H. Hey, 31-54. The Hague: Klluwer Law International, 1999.

Edeson, W., D. Freestone & E. Gudmundsdottir. Legislating for Sustainable Fisheries: A Guide to Implementing the FAO Compliance Agreement and 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement. Washington D.C: The World Bank, 2011.

ILO. Caught at Sea: Forced Labour and Trafficking in Fisheries. Geneva: ILO Publication, 2013.

Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries. Laut Masa Depan Bangsa: Kedaulatan, Keberlanjutan dan Kesejahteraan [Ocean is the Nation’s Future: Sovereignty, Sustainability and Prosperity] (White Paper). Jakarta: MMAF, 2017.

North Atlantic Fisheries Intelligence Group and INTERPOL. Chasing Red Herrings: Flag of Convenience and the Impact on Fisheries Crime Law Enforcement. Oslo: NA-FIG, 2017.

Palma, M. A., Tsamenyi, M., & Edeson, B. Promoting Sustainable Fisheries: the International Legal and Policy Framework to Combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2010.

Rose, G. L. (2014). Combating Transnational Environmental Crime: Future Decisions. In G. L. Rose (ed), Following the Proceeds of Environmental Crime: Fish, Forests and Filthy Lucre (pp. 229-249). Abingdon: Routledge.

Tanaka, Y. (2012). The International Law of the Sea. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Verna, N. “Integrating a Gender Perspective into the Blue Economy.” In The Blue Economy Handbook of the Indian Ocean Region, edited by V. N. Attri & N. Bohler-Muller, 98-126. Pretoria, Afria Institute of South Africa, 2018.

Journal and periodicals

Coning, E. & E. Witbooi. “Towards a New ‘Fisheries Crime’ Paradigm: South Africa as an Illustrative Example.” Marine Policy 60 (2015): 208-215.

Katsumata, H. “Reconstruction of Diplomatic Norms in Southeast Asia: the Case for Strict Adherence to the ‘ASEAN Way’.” Contemporary Southeast Asia 25 (2003): 104-121.

Palma, M. A. “Tightening the Net: the Legal Link between Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Transnational Organized Crime under International Law.” Ocean Yearbook 29 (2015): 114-165.

Telesetsky, A. “Laundering Fish in the Global Undercurrents: Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing and Transnational Organized Crime.” Ecology Law Quarterly, 41, no. 4 (2014): 939-997.

Witbooi, E. “Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing on the High Seas: The Port State Measures Agreement in Context.” The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law 29 (2014): 290-320.

Web sources

Berkovic, N. “Call for New Powers to Deal with Organised Crime on High Seas’, The Australian, 24th April 2015.

Chan, F. “Taiwanese Crew under Probe for Operating under False Flags for Illegal Fishing, Drug Smuggling.” The Strait Times, 11th February 2018.

International Maritime Organization. “Status of Treaties.” IMO, 2018.

Mulyani, S. “The Case for Inclusive Green Growth.” World Bank, 9th June 2018.

Pebrianto, F., & Yanuar, Y. “KKP Keluhkan Pasal Pencucian Uang Belum Jerat Illegal Fishing [MMAF is Deeply Concerned that Money Laundering Provision has never been Applied to Illegal Fishing],” Tempo online, 12th December 2017.

Pratama, A. F. “Meski Sudah Banyak Ditenggelamkan, Kapal Pencuri Ikan Masih Banyak Bermunculan [Although Fish Poacher Vessels Have Been Sunk, They still Come].” Tribunnews, 12th January 2018.

Pudjiastuti, S. “Protecting Our Waters from Fisheries Crime.” The Jakarta Post, 14th June 2014.

Sack, K. “Slavery at Sea: the Human Cost of Illegal Fishing.” Huffington Post, 31st July 2016.

Schonhardt, S., & A. Rachman “Indonesia Sinks 60 Fishing Boats on Independence Day.” The Wall Street Journal, 17th August 2016. Retrieved from

The South Pacific Regional Environment Programme. “The Cape Town Agreement on the Safety of Fishing Vessels at Centre of Pacific Islands Gathering.” August 29, 2017.

UNODC. “Case Law Database: US v. Bengis and others.” UNODC, 2018.


Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. (2016, May 11). The UNODC/WWF Fisheries Crime Expert Group Meeting 2016. Outcome of 25th sess, E/CN/14/2016/CRP.2, Vienna, Austria. Vienna: CCPCJ. Retrieved from

Committee on Fisheries of FAO. (2014, March). Safety at Sea in the Fisheries Sector. Summary of 31st Session, COFI/2014/Inf.14, Rome, Italy. Rome: FAO. Retrieved from

Committee on Fisheries of FAO. (April 2018). Safety at Sea in the Fisheries Sector, 33rd Session, COFI/2018/Inf.8. Retrieved from

Conservation and Community Investment Forum. (2013). Assessment of the Enabling Conditions for Rights-Based Management of Fisheries and Coastal Marine Resources (Indonesia Country Report). Trust for Conservation Innovation. Retrieved from

Hongzhou, Z. “China’s Fishing Industry: Current Status, Government Policies, and Future Prospects” Paper presented at China as a Maritime Conference, Arlington, Virginia, July 2015.

International Transport Workers Federation. “Flags of Convenience: Avoiding the Rules by Flying a Convenient Flag.” ITWF, 2018.

Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of Indonesia, International Organization for Migration and Coventry University. Human Trafficking, Forced Labour and Fisheries Crime in the Indonesia Fishing Industry (Report). Jakarta: IOM, 2016.

Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of Indonesia. Indonesia National Plan of Action to Prevent and to Combat IUU Fishing. Jakarta: MMAF and JICA, 2012. Retrieved from

Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of Indonesia. Indonesia Annual Report to the Ecologically Related Species Working Group (ERSWG) for 2012 (Report). Jakarta: MMAF, 2013.

Ministry of Transport of New Zealand. Cape Town Agreement of 2012 (Discussion Paper, April 2015).

Palma, M. A. “Fisheries Crime: Bridging the Conceptual Gap and Practical Response,” Centre for International Maritime Security, 30th July 2014 . Retrieved from

Stop Illegal Fishing and PescaDOLUS. The First International Symposium on Fish Crime (Record). South Africa: the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fishing, 2016.

The Economist Intelligence Unit. “The Blue Economy: Growth, Opportunity and a Sustainable Ocean Economy.” Briefing paper for the World Ocean Summit 2015. Retrieved from

The PEW Charitable Trusts. “The Cape Town Agreement Explained.” PEW Charitable Trust, October 2018. Retrieved from

The PEW Charitable Trusts. “The Cape Town Agreement: 7 Reasons to Improve Safety on Fishing Vessels.” October 2017.

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