Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security


It has been identified that Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing activities have severe impacts on, and continue to be a prominent problem to, marine ecosystems. In a 2012 report, FAO disclosed that 87.3% of fish stocks were fully exploited or overexploited. In accordance with the recent report, it is estimated that the economic losses from the practice are approximately between $10 billion and $23.5 billion per year, which is equal to between 11 and 26 million tons of fish catch. The FAO report revealed that fish stocks decreased from 90 per cent in 1974 to 71.2 per cent in 2013 while 68.8 per cent of were considered overfished.

Indonesia has a significant IUU fishing problem. According to the data provided by the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of Indonesia (MMAF), Indonesia suffers around Rp. 101 trillion (US$ 8.8 million) annually due to IUU fishing activities alone. The economic losses Indonesia has suffered from those illicit activities are from the practices of tax evasion, illegal fuel and this has affected local fishermen’s income. In response to this matter, Indonesian authorities have committed to eradicating the activities by imposing stringent measures.

When probing IUU fishing, related transnational crimes activities have also been discovered including human trafficking and slavery as well as drugs and weapons smuggling. As such, Indonesia has developed several legal and policy measures to overcome IUU fishing and transnationally organized fisheries crimes. Nonetheless, there persist some challenges. This paper examines Indonesia’s policy and legal practices in combating IUU fishing and transnationally organized fisheries crimes from the views of domestic and relevant international law and practices by observing the advantages and disadvantages of such policy and making analysis through the lens of environmental law. At the end, it attempts to analyse if fisheries crime offers a better approach to combat IUU fishing.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.