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Princes Charles praises explosion of illegal fishing boats

Earlier this week, while at the Our Oceans conference in Malta, Prince Charles met Indonesia’s Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti.

The Jakarta Post has now given an insight to the meeting as Prince Charles praised the outspoke minister, calling her a “pioneer”.

The self-made businesswoman, formally a high-school dropout, is known for her “shock and awe” method of scaring illegal fishing boats. Her tactics include blowing up the vessels on TV.

“I don’t think anyone is happy to see their boat being blown up,” she said to the BBC. 

In 2014, President Joko Widodo said they needed a “crazy person” to take on the job of dealing with the excessive fishing. Mrs Pudjiastuti got the job.

While at a pop culture status in her own country, her rash actions have angered the Chinese since the destruction of some of their boats causing tensions between the two countries.

Prince Charles is in Malta for the summit, giving the keynote speech on 5 October.  Afterwards, he spoke with Sky News about the fragile marine state, saying: “A classic example of proof of all this is what’s been going on on the east coast of Africa, where off Somalia all this piracy has been going on.

“As a result, there hasn’t been any fishing there for the last 10 or 15 years and from that there has been a fantastic explosion of bigger and bigger fish, all along the coast, because there hasn’t been the fishing.

“What you need to do is organise the fishing in a way that enables the fish, and everything the fish depend on, to survive in their eco-systems.’

“It’s no good just letting people fish everywhere, with their bigger and bigger boats, with cleverer and cleverer technology to find and suck up every single last fish – that’s crazy, that’s not conservation, it’s madness.

“That’s what’s being going on. I’m not saying you stop fishing – you have to do it in a way that will actually produce more fish.”

HRH also had the chance to release rehabilitated Tomasina the turtle back into the ocean after meeting with veterinarians from Nature Trust Malta. Prince Charles held the turtle before placing it in the sand and watched as it made its way back into the water.


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