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E Java fishermen arrested for possessing explosives

13th March 2010 | 838 Views
Pamekasan, E Java (ANTARAvNews) - Policemen in the East Java island of Madura arrested three fishermen for possessing home-made explosives in a sweeping operation on Thursday.

The fishermen of Candi hamlet, Polagan village, Galis sub-district, Pamekasan regency, were caught red handed with the evidence minutes before going for fishing, a police officer said.

Chief of Pamekasan police precinct Adjunct Senior Commissioner Mas Gunarso said here Friday that the suspects were only identified as "N", "I" and "D". "They are all from Candi hamlet," he said.

The policemen also confiscated 15 packs of explosives. They were suspected of practicing blast fishing on the sea near the coastal village, he said.

"Thanks to the people`s information on their destructive habit," he said, adding the suspects would be charged with Law Number 12/1951 on weapons and explosives.
The law violators were threatened with life sentence, he said.

The arrest of these three fishermen was the second over the past four months.
On December 18, 2009, the Pamekasan policemen also seized two tons of explosive materials, including five sacks of potassium, from a resident`s house in Kertagena Daja village, Kadur sub-district.

The police named three villagers as suspects.

The blast fishing remains destructive habits of a number of fishermen in Indonesia. As a result, the preservation of coral reefs, fish population and other marine resources are in danger.

On March 5, Chief of Bengkulu`s naval base, Lt.Col.Sukrisno, warned fishermen in Bengkulu Province of the legal sanctions for those using explosives in fishing.
Instead of using the explosives, Sukrisno urged the fishermen to use fishing nets as the Bengkulu province`s fishing and marine authorities had recommended.

According to C.Pet-Soede, H.S.J. Cesar and J.S.Pet`s research report (1999), the blast fishing was introduced in Indonesia in World War II as "an easy and profitable way to catch schooling reef fish".

The blast fishing activities do not only threaten the coral reef ecosystem but also lead to the destruction of coral reef fisheries, they said in their study report. (*)