Maritime Ministry Committed to End Marine Debris Problems

046414400_1654687913-Sampah-Laut-Iqbal-2 Marine debris polluting Cilicing area in North Jakarta (8/6/2022). Indonesia is the second largest contributor to marine plastic pollution, behind only China. (Photo by - Iqbal S. Nugroho)

The government through the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries confirm its commitment in mitigating coastal and marine environment issues in Indonesia, particularly dealing with marine debris.

Through the Global Dialogue on Ocean Plastic Pollution with the theme "Ending Ocean Plastic Pollution from Commitment into Action", which was held by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) Indonesia (20/06/2022), Head of the Agency for Marine and Fisheries Research and Human Resources, I Nyoman Radiarta, said that the total of Indonesia's waste reached 25,6 million tons/year. From the system it is also known that 29,5% total of waste comes from food waste and the second highest is 15,4% is plastic.

"We know that 80% of marine debris comes from activities on land that leak through rivers and pollute the ocean. Of course, marine debris has become an issue on local, national and global scale. Marine debris has a very bad impact on the environment and marine life," said Nyoman.

"We found a stranded whale in Wakatobi with a digestive tract full of marine debris up to 5,9 kilograms in weight. The waste in the whale's stomach consisted of 750 grams of plastic cups (115 pieces), 140 grams of hard plastic (19 pieces), 150 grams of plastic bottles (4 pieces), 260 grams of plastic bags (25 pieces), 740 grams of wood chips (6 pieces), flip flops 270 grams (2 pieces), nylon sack 200 grams (1 piece), raffia rope 3.260 grams (more than 1000 pieces). Therefore, several actions are needed to deal with marine debris, especially to reduce plastic pollution in the oceans," he continued.

In tackling plastic waste, said Nyoman, Indonesia has a strong commitment to reduce plastic waste into the sea by 70% by 2025, and can be close to zero in 2040 through the National Action Plan for Marine Waste 2018-2025. In addition, through Presidential Decree Number 83/2018, Indonesia formed the National Coordination Team for Handling Marine Debris (TKN PSL), in which the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries plays a role in Pokja 3 for Handling Marine and Coastal Debris.

"In the Pokja TKN PSL, the Ministry has the task of managing waste on the coastal and the ocean, such as the management of plastic waste, marine tourism, marine and fishery activities, as well as outer islands and small islands," he explained.

The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries strategic steps in ending marine debris pollution began with the movement of increasing public awareness, waste management from upstream to downstream, institutional strengthening, supervision, and law enforcement, as well as waste management innovation.

In addition to campaigns and education, the Ministry has succeeded in encouraging hundreds of fishermen to replace environmentally friendly fishing gear, providing 26 waste treatment facilities at fishing ports and fishing villages, 6 researches on Marine Plastic Waste, and 5 ports that are ISO 14001 certified.

"The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries also carried out 37 Coastal and Sea Clean Movements, 14 Indonesian Beach Schools and 5 Coastal Jamborees. Another action is the Clean Coastal Village Program, which aims to build clean and independent coastal villages in waste management through capacity building and public awareness, as well as assistance and provision of waste management facilities," said Nyoman.

In fighting plastic pollution, raising awareness of the younger generation is the main principle of the Ministry in fostering a sense of belonging and concern for the preservation of the marine environment in Indonesia. He stated that currently the Agency for Marine and Fisheries Research and Human Resources Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries has 20 educational units which are divided into 11 higher education units, namely 10 Marine and Fisheries Polytechnics, one community academy, and nine Middle Fisheries Business Schools across Indonesia.

"I hope this webinar can make a real contribution in answering all the challenges of plastic pollution in the oceans. Let's carry out marine and fisheries development by applying the blue economy principle, so that the sea remains healthy and the community is more prosperous," Nyoman hoped. 

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