Talking Indonesia: illegal fishing

Illegal, undocumented and unregulated fishing was one of the most prominent issues of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s first term. This was partly because of repeated confrontations at sea with the fishing fleets and coastguards of China and Vietnam, but also because of the hard-line approach of Jokowi’s first-term fisheries minister, Susi Pudjiastuti.


Susi’s use of explosives to sink seized foreign vessels and her high media profile made her one of Jokowi’s most popular ministers, but she was not re-appointed in Jokowi’s second term. But how did Susi transform Indonesia’s fisheries industry during her tenure? And what does her replacement tell us about the sustainability of her approach to combating illegal fishing?


In this week’s Talking Indonesia podcast, Dr Dave McRae discusses these issues with Dr Fabio Scarpello, lecturer in politics and international relations in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Auckland. Dr Scarpello is the author of “Susi versus the rest: the political economy of the fisheries industry in Indonesia during Jokowi’s first term”, recently published in the Asian Journal of Political Science.


In 2020, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, Dr Jemma Purdey from the Australia-Indonesia Centre and Deakin University, Dr Charlotte Setijadi from Singapore Management University and Dr Dirk Tomsa from La Trobe University.


Look out for a new Talking Indonesia podcast every fortnight. Catch up on previous episodes here, subscribe via iTunes or listen via your favourite podcasting app.


Photo by Septianda Perdana for Antara.


Dave McRae is a Senior Lecturer at the Asia Institute in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne. He is also an Associate at the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society.