Indonesian Traditional Fishing Rights In Ashmore Reef Area An International Law Perspective

  • Treyas Annisa Febri Susanti Faculty Of Law, Mulawarman University
  • Muhamad Muhdar Faculty Of Law, Mulawarman University
  • Rika Erawaty Faculty Of Law, Mulawarman University
Keywords: Ashmore Reef, Traditional Fishing Right, Indonesian Fishermen, MoU Box, UNCLOS


The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS) guarantees a coastal state certain rights as well as obligations to manage the sea, including the right for traditional fishermen to catch the fish in the area. The traditional fishing right is hereditary, inherited by traditional fishermen who have been catching the fish and other sea commodities in a certain fishing ground for generations. The said recognition is given to the traditional fishermen, however, is in stark contrast with the practices taking place in the fishing ground as shown in the case of traditional fisherman catching the fish in Ashmore Reef area. This research is aimed to answer two important issues in this regard: First, the legal protection of Indonesian traditional fishermen under the light of international law, and Secondly the consequences of the changing status of the Ashmore Reef into conservation area on traditional fishing activity. The research method used to answer the problem formulation uses the doctrinal method which is based on international agreements with a conceptual approach. Even though Indonesia and Australia both recognize UNCLOS 1982, and both countries had an agreement outlined in MoU Box 1974 as well as Agreed Minute 1989, Australia giving the new status of Ashmore Reef as a conservation area has brought about the tremendous impact on the traditional fishery as Australian Law is getting harsh on traditional fishermen from Indonesia and hence neglecting the existing agreement as well as the international law that recognizes the traditional fishermen.


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