Piracy is a myth, illegal fishing more pressing concern: Official

Anggi M. Lubis

Piracy in Southeast Asia is a myth that overlooks the real threats that haunt regional waters, an Indonesian bureaucrat has claimed. The real threats are illegal fishing and organized crime.

The perception that Southeast Asia is a pirate-invested region is shaped by, among other things, reports compiled by the International Maritime Bureau ( IMB ) on robberies or robbery attempts from vessels plying the region’s waters, says Arif Havas Oegroseno, a deputy for maritime sovereignty at the Office of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister.

Sea-related cases reported to the IMB — a Singapore-based unit of the International Chamber of Commerce ( ICC ) — are marked as piracy without relying on proper and specific definitions set by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea ( UNCLOS ), Havas said during a recent conference held by policy think tank the Habibie Center.

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