JAKARTA, 17 December 2019 – The plan of the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Edhy Prabowo to revoke the export and the capture of lobster seeds ban is a backward step in protecting sustainability in Indonesia. The revocation of the ban will threaten the lobster population in Indonesia. Therefore, the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL) considers that the Government must cancel the policy plan.
The purpose of the export and capture of lobster seeds ban is to protect and ensure the sustainability of lobsters in Indonesia, this is as stated in the “considering” section and Article 7 of the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Regulation (Permen KP) No. 56/PERMEN-KP/2016. The regulation stipulates that in order to maintain the existence and availability of lobster resource population (Panulirus spp), it is necessary to regulate lobster capture and export by banning the export and capture of lobster seeds. “The considerations and reasons for this export ban need to be maintained and guarded together, because it is clear that if lobster seeds are caught and exported, the sustainability of lobsters will be threatened. Furthermore, the seeds should develop and be mature then will lay eggs again to produce more seeds and so on,” said Dalila Doman, Researcher of Coastal and Maritime Division at ICEL.
The plan to lift the lobster seed export ban policy will also affect Indonesia in terms of the economy. Former Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) Susi Pujiastuti through her Twitter account said that, the value of the sale of a lobster seed when sold is only 139 thousand rupiahs, while the sale of a lobster weighing 1.2-1.4 kg currently reaches 5 million rupiah per piece. Certainly it will be very detrimental to Indonesia in terms of the economy. “If the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries sees from an economic perspective, it is also necessary to look at the potential of state revenue in terms of differences in the results of the sale of lobster seeds and adult lobster,” Dalila continued.
In addition to the potential of harming the sustainability of the lobster population and economy, this policy plan also has the potential of violating the provisions of the Minister of Trade Regulation (Permendag) No. 29 of 2019 juncto Permendag No. 72 of 2019 concerning Provisions on the Export and Import of Animals and Animal Products. Article 3 paragraph (1) of the Regulation of the Minister of Trade regulates that the export of animal seeds can only be carried out if the needs of the animal seeds have been met and the preservation of local livestock is guaranteed. Research by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), published by the KKP, states that lobster populations are declining, lobster seed exports have the potential to cause the extinction of lobster populations and are not sustainable so that ultimately the needs of lobster seeds in Indonesia are not met and cannot guarantee the sustainability of local livestock.  “If this plan is implemented, it will potentially violate Article 3 paragraph (1) of the Regulation of the Minister of Trade regarding Provisions on the Export and Import of Animals. This matter should be reconsidered including the basis of the study of the plan,” concluded Dalila.
Henri Subagiyo, Executive Director of ICEL stated that the Minister of KKP’s plan to open the lobster seed export tap showed the Government was currently trapped in economic pragmatism that endangered the sustainability of fisheries and the economic empowerment of the fishing communities. The fisheries cultivation sector should have been strengthened to be like Vietnam of which the Government itself has recognised their success in developing lobster cultivation culture. If the reason was the rampant smuggling of lobster seeds, how could this policy be well controlled if we were not even sure if smuggling alone can be overcome, he added.
Dalila Adiba Yanuar Doman
Researcher of Maritime and Coastal Division at ICEL
— Susi Pudjiastuti’s Twitter account: @susipudjiastuti, Tweet dated the 14th of December 2019 at 21.51, https://twitter.com/susipudjiastuti/status/1205862955784364032, accessed on the 17th of December 2019  Prof. Dr. Rosichon Ubaidillah M. Phill, et al (LIPI), Biota Perairan Terancam Punah di Indonesia: Prioritas Perlindungan, Directorate for Conservation of Fish Species and Areas, Director General of Marine, Coastal and Kecik Islands, Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, ISBN: 978-602-7913 -08-0, p. 167, 169, 171, 173, 2013, http://kkji.kp3k.kkp.go.id/index.php/dokumen/publikasi/buku/finish/2-buku/510-biota-perairan-ter threatened-punah, accessed on the 17th of December 2019