Susi Pudjiastuti recalled her reasons for banning the fishing of lobster hatchlings back when she served as a minister of maritime affairs and fisheries in 2014-2019. She said the lobster catch kept declining for the past 15 years due to the trade of the commodity seeds.

“Before being appointed as a minister, I was a fish entrepreneur since 1986. In 1996, I started exporting adult lobster and stopped in 2001 because there was no more lobster,” said Susi in a virtual discussion of Bahtsul Masail on Thursday, July 23.

She claimed that in the 1990s, the daily lobster catch during the harvest season reached 2-6 tons, while after the trade of lobster hatchlings was allowed in early 2000, the catch dropped to 2-3 quintals per day.

The catch of other fish also declined due to rampant theft at sea by foreign vessels. Therefore, Susi was determined to issue a policy on the prohibition of catching, breeding, and exporting lobster seeds via a ministerial regulation No. 56/2016.

The rule only allowed the catch of adult lobsters. Besides, Susi captured illegal vessels aggressively. According to her, the policy translated President Jokowi’s orders to safeguard maritime resources as the future of the nation.

Susi Pudjiastuti openly opposed the current policy issued by Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Edhy Prabowo that reopened the export of lobster seeds through Ministerial Regulation No. 12/2020. Susi often mentioned on her social media that the move would cause the ecosystem scarcity.