The Necessity of Indonesia’s Measures to Sink Vessels for IUU Fishing in the Exclusive Economic Zone
Indonesia has been burning or sinking foreign vessels in its efforts to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing in its exclusive economic zone. Opinions on how much longer this measure should continue are manifold. While political issues may easily mask the situation, the underlying legal question remains: whether burning or sinking foreign vessels is a legal and necessary enforcement measure for Indonesia. Even though Article 73(1) of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea does not make any reference to this type of measure, it allows coastal states to take measures that are ‘necessary to ensure compliance with their laws and regulations’. This paper examines the meaning of the term “necessary” within the ambit of Article 73(1) to evaluate whether Indonesia’s measure to burn or sink foreign vessels is necessary.