70% of the earth, the ocean and the sea provide
food and also water for human. Deep inside the ocean, is the habitat for many
kinds of marine biota. Such as, fishes, coral reefs, turtles, whales, molluscs,
crustacean, sea plants, and many more. The ocean is also the gate for petroleum
mining activity. Because, beneath the seabed and the ocean floor are the places
where the petroleum can be found. Ocean also became a part of world’s sailors’
adventures. We are very familiar with the story of how sailors from the past
like Vasco da Gama and Christopher Columbus roamed the sea with their ships and
discovered islands and paths that are eventually very useful for human
activities until this very day. And, sea is also one the of most favorite
destinations for holiday. The scenery that it serves, interest many tourists
that are looking for some refreshing time.
But sadly, the condition of the oceans, seas, and
marine resources this earth has, keep decreasing day by day. There are many
reasons as to why fishes are found dead, coral reefs are destructed, and the
number of dolphins and whales are keep decreasing. The main reason is
pollution. Land-based sources dominated up to 80% of marine pollution that
contaminated the ocean including marine habitats (UNESCO).
This also happens in Indonesia. Known as the
biggest archipelagic state, yet so many of Indonesia’s seas are contaminated by
pollution. Plastics are very common to be found, especially in seas near
This is why this issue has also gained attention
from Indonesia’s government. Because the seas that Indonesia has are very
important for Indonesia’s people and Indonesia itself. If we look at it
geographically, the seas seem to divide Indonesia because of how wide the seas
that separate islands of Indonesia. On the contrary, because of the vital role
that it holds and the treasured marine resources spreading in all over the seas
the sea of Indonesia is what unites all of us.
Based on that issue, the writer decided to choose
“Life Below Water” as the theme for this paper to know more about the cause of
the issue and the impacts it creates. Also, to know the important role of
Indonesia’s seas for Indonesia.
From issue background above, it can be taken a several
1. What is the definition of ocean, sea, marine
resources, and marine pollution?
2. What is the current condition of the world’s
ocean, seas, and marine resources?
3. How is the current condition of the seas and
marine resources in Indonesia?
4. How Pancasila and Citizenship’s see Indonesia’s
5. What are the solutions for the Indonesian’s sea
To know the definition of ocean, sea, marine
resources, and marine pollution.
To know about the critical condition of the
world’s oceans, seas, and marine resources today.
To know about the current condition of
Indonesia’s sea issues.
To know how important the role of Indonesia’s sea
towards the union of Indonesia.
To know the solutions for reducing and
controlling the problem that the ocean, sea, and marine resources have to face
According to Oxford Dictionary, the meaning of
ocean is a very large expanse of sea, whereas each of the main areas into which
the sea is divided geographically.
: -A very
large expanse of sea, in particular each of the main areas into which the sea
is divided geographically (Oxford)
definition that comes from Princeton University is more focusing on the one of
the Ocean’s role which is a large body of water that constituting a principal
part of the hydrosphere.
-a large body of water constituting a principal
part of the hydrosphere. (Princeton University)
Ocean is also a body of salt water that covers
almost three fourths of the surface of the earth- the whole body of salt water
that covers nearly three fourths of the surface of the earth (Merriam-Webster)
From those three definitions of ocean, we can
take say that ocean is a large expanse of water that covers almost the entire
surface of the earth and has a part in hydrosphere and also contains salt.
The meaning of the sea from Oxford Dictionary is
the expanse of salt water that covers most of the earth’s surface and surrounds
its land masses. (Oxford, 2018) while Princeton University explains sea as a
division of an ocean or a large body of salt water partially enclosed by land)
Based on those two definitions, we can say that
sea is an expanse of salt water and a division of an ocean. The main difference
between ocean and sea is the size. The ocean is wider that the sea, that’s why
seas are part of the ocean. And most of the seas are located near land-area.
Marine resources: Marine resources are materials
and attributes found in the ocean that are considered to have value. That value
can be intrinsic, or monetary. They include a huge number of things: biological
diversity, fish and seafood supplies, oil and gas, minerals, sand and gravel,
renewable energy resources, tourism potential, and unique ecosystems like coral
UNCLOS defines marine pollution the introduction
by man, directly or indirectly, of substances or energy into the marine
environment, including estuaries, which results or is likely to result in such
deleterious effects as harm to living resources and marine life, hazards to
human health, hindrance to marine activities, including fishing and other
legitimate uses of the sea, impairment of quality for use of sea water and
reduction of amenities (United Nation, 1982).
Causes of Climate
The Role of The World’s Oceans, Seas, and Marine Resources
The World’s ocean, seas, and marine resources have a lot of important roles
for human wellbeing. Over 3 billion people depend on marine and coastal
resources for their livelihoods (Secretariat of The Convention on Biological
Diversity, 2012). Ocean absorbs more CO2 than the atmosphere. Ocean waters have
the capacity to absorb vast amounts of the greenhouse-warming gas carbon
dioxide (CO2), and thus have helped to buffer human-caused global warming and
climate change (WWF). Oceans capture and store about 30% of carbon dioxide
produced by humans (UNEP, 2009). EDIT TEROS
It’s not just ocean life that depends on phytoplankton. Marine
phytoplankton estimated produces 50% of oxygen on Earth (IOC/UNESCO, IMO, FAO,
UNDP, 2011). The oceans are also an integral part of the water cycle. Vast
amounts of water evaporate from the ocean surface, rising into the atmosphere
as water vapor. When this vapor collides with colder air, it condenses to form
clouds and rain. (WWF)
As we all know, world’s oceans are filled with marine resources. Diverse
marine species from animal to plants, all of them are reside inside the oceans
and the seas. There are species which we have heard often, but there are also
species that we might never heard of and they live in the dark deep inside the
ocean where the light can’t even penetrate. No wonder if there are still
species that haven’t been discovered and can’t be classified yet. Thus, the
richness of marine species will have no end.
Home for many marine species, hence the next role of the world’s ocean is
one of human’s sources of food and water. Among the variety of marine species,
some of them are edible for human and it’s very well-known that seafoods are
rich with protein which is good for our brain. Fish provide 4.3 billion people
with at least 15% of their intake of animal protein (FAO, 2012). Moreover,
another resource we can get from the oceans are salt and petroleum.
The world’s oceans and seas are also function as the paths for shipping
activity. The massive size of the ships makes it possible to carry tons of
goods and often help people crossing from one place to another every day and it
also costs less compare to shipping using planes. Oceans and seas are famous
for the beautiful sceneries, no wonder people like to go to seas as holiday
destinations to recharge the body and mind.
The Current Problems about Our Oceans, Seas, and Marine Resources and the Impacts
Are closely related to human’s lives because of the benefits they have,
doesn’t make our ocean and marine resources free from damage. Instead, human’s
evil hands are the one that cause it. Marine pollution and destructive fishing
are only some of the problem that have been happening to our oceans, seas, and
Starting from marine pollution. There are several sources of marine
pollution, such as domestic waste, industrial and agricultural effluents, the
results of the exploration and exploitation of the mineral resources of the
sea-bed, radio-active waste, fishing tools, oil spilled from ships, and
military pollution through dumping of poisonous gases and explosions
Land-based sources of pollution contribute approximately 80% of marine
pollution, globally (UNESCO, 2015). Plastic debris are one of the pollution
that pollute the ocean and seas. Plastic debris come from human activities, and
most of them come from human activities that take place in sea near land-area
(Katsanevakis, 2008). Every year, the amount of plastic that got carried into
the ocean reach the number of 10 million tons worth of plastic.
The next threat is destructive fishing.
Destructive fishing has a lot of methods. All of them are destructive
and leave a horrible impact toward our marine biota. Some of the methods are,
spear fishing, dynamite fishing, beach seining, poisoning, and there’s also a
thing called ghost fishing. Ghost fishing occurs when nets and other fishing
tools are accidentally or intentionally abandoned in the sea. These nets
continue to trap fish and even large marine mammals. The worst is those fishes
and marine mammals could die due to exhaustion or suffocation after struggling
to escape the net and not able to go the surface to breathe.
Ghost fishing can also be considered as marine pollution. That’s why the
impacts are almost the same. Marine animals are often got entangled with the
plastic debris or discarded fishing tools and this could let them to death
because entangled to the plastic debris slows their swim moves so they are unable
to look for food or even avoid predators. In another case, there are marine
animals that ingest plastic because they can’t tell the difference between
their real food and plastics as all of them are floating in the ocean. But,
this could also happen because the real food for those marine animals are
declining due to the unhealthy condition of the ocean. Worldwatch Institute
reports that at least 267 species of marine wildlife are known to have suffered
from entanglement or ingestion of marine debris, most of which is composed of
plastic (Schilling, 2014). UNESCO also
stated that the impacts are not just attacking marine animals that live inside
the ocean, but also seabirds. More than a million seabirds die every year
because of plastic debris, as well as 100,000 marine mammals (United Nation,
Impacts that come from destructive fishing are not less horrible. Dynamite
and other explosive fishing methods destroy habitats and coral reefs. Using
poisons obviously could kill other organisms. Not to mention, it is also a
threat for the habitat of marine animals that their existence is on the verge
of extinction such as dolphins, whales, sharks and sea turtles. In Asia,
fishers are very used to catch shark just to get their fins. Once they cut the
fin, they would dump the shark back to where it came from. The problem is,
shark’s moves will get slowed down because its fins have gone followed by
bleeding, makes it hard for the shark to find prey and avoid predators and
eventually the shark would be dead.
Human Roles for
As an archipelagic state, Indonesia has numerous
islands. There are 17,508 islands in total making Indonesia the biggest
archipelagic state. The total maritime area of Indonesia is 5.8 million km2 and
in 2014, the length of Indonesia’s coastline is 99, 093 km. Seeing how wide the
maritime area of Indonesia is, surely, it’s filled with rich marine resources.
From fishes, marine mammals, coral reefs, and mangroves, Indonesia has all of
them in large quantity.
Coral Triangle is an area of seas that have the
highest marine biodiversity. It consists of six countries and the largest area
is covered by Indonesia. Indonesia is the home for 37% of coral reef fish
species and 76% of the world’s coral species. Scientists from around the world admit
that the coral reefs in Raja Ampat is the center of the world’s coral reef
biodiversity. Not just the center of coral reef biodiversity, Indonesia is also
the center of the world’s mangroves diversity as well. According to FAO, there
are 48 species of mangrove in Indonesia.
Besides coral reefs and mangroves, Indonesia is
rich with fishery resources as well. Our need of animal protein is supplied
around 54% from Indonesia’s seafood. And around 10% of the world’s marine
commodities is supplied by Indonesia. Other than fish, oil and mining are one
of Indonesia’s marine resources as well. Oil production mostly takes place in
Java Sea, while the source of liquified natural gas is mostly located in
Another interesting thing that comes from the depth
of the Indonesia’s sea is historical relic from the past that become treasure.
For example, in September 2017, The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
along with the Natuna’s Government were working together to save the treasure
that lies inside the Natuna’s waters. This is only one example, for there are
so many hidden treasure that hasn’t yet been discovered.
Having many prodigious of marine resources
(living and non-living) opens up the possibilities for jobs. Not to mention,
one of the biggest source of Indonesia’s income is from tourism and Indonesia
is very famous for its beautiful beaches and seas. Bali, Raja Ampat, Lombok,
are only a few of well-known holiday destinations in Indonesia. Where in fact,
Indonesia still keeps so many hidden gems.
It is very unfortunate to say that Indonesia’s seas and marine resources
are not free from threats. The act of IUU (Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated) in
form of overfishing, destructive fishing, and also fish-stealing, are still
happening in Indonesia. and we can’t
also ignore the fact that marine pollution happens in Indonesia as well.
Overfishing has been threatening Indonesia’s marine life and this causes
depleting stocks. As the largest archipelago state, no wonder if Indonesia has
a very potential fish resources. Based on Indonesia’s Central Bureau of
Statistics, Indonesia has around 6.5 million tons of fish resources per year.
Though, it is estimated that up to 72.44% of fish resources of Indonesia has
been overfishing. The remaining species of fish that still can be used is only
around 27.56% (Setiyowati, Ayub, & Zulkifli, 2016).
Threat also comes from outside Indonesia. And they come precisely from
countries nearby. In 2015, in total, there are 84 foreign fishing ships captured
for committing fish stealing in Indonesia. Vietnam has the most captured ships,
the amount is 46 ships, then followed by Philippines for 19 captured ships,
Malaysia has 12 captured ships, and last but not least, Thailand with 7
captured ships (Rochman Nurhakim, et al., 2016).
Based on the data provided by Indonesia’s Central Bureau of Statistics, as
the result of mining activities (oil exploration), there are 42 cases regarding
oil spills in the Indonesia’s water during the year of 1997-2016 (Setiyowati,
Ayub, & Zulkifli, 2016). And Indonesia also holds the second place for the
biggest contributor plastic debris into the sea after China.
UU Perspective to Climate Change
As we all know, Pancasila has five precepts. The second precept is “Justice
and Civilized Humanity”. This precept contains the moral value to be a just and
civilized human being toward another human being and also another living
creatures including marine living creatures. Based on the second precept, we
need to help in stopping fishermen from using destructive fishing tools and
start using the safer one. So that our seas and all the creatures that lives
within the sea can be spared from the damage. We also need to participate in
conserving our marine biodiversity by not being greedy and overexploit marine
The third precept states, “The Unity of Indonesia”. It took centuries for
Indonesia to be able to finally united as one, as Indonesia, as a free from
colonialism state. Holds the title as “The Biggest Archipelagic State”, it is
not an easy job to keep the union. We are all aware of the fact that the marine
area of Indonesia is quite wide. Indeed, because of that we can have plenty of
marine resources, but on the other hand, it can also become our point of weakness.
Take a look at some of the criminal or illegal doings that relate to marine
area such as illegal fishing that’s still happening. And, the waters of
Indonesia are often used for criminals to do their crime such as drug smuggling, wildlife animals
trade, and human trafficking via water shipping that are still exist until today.
This proves that we all need to work together along with government to stop or at least
declining the number of all those illegal doings and prevent our future
generation from the evilness of drugs and human trafficking and to be able to
pass down our marine resources to them.
Indonesian citizen, we need to see our seas as what unites us all, not what
We need to feel grateful by the richness of our marine resources. Spread from
Sabang to Merauke, all kinds of marine resources. Years ago, Indonesia’s
territorial sea wasn’t as wide today and we might never been able to enjoy our
marine resources if it wasn’t for the fight our Founding-Fathers had to strive
for just so Indonesia’s people can take what’s right for us. What we deserved. The
width of Indonesia’s territorial sea was only 3 miles long based on the regulation that was published by the Netherland for Indonesia
in 1939. 3 miles was obviously too small compare to the rest of the sea that
inside and outside of Indonesia. So, many Indonesia’s figures fought for the
rights of Indonesia to be able to expand the width of its territorial sea and
it wasn’t a smooth journey. Finally, in 1957, Djuanda Kartawidjaja succeeded. 3
miles changed to 12 miles. And it was a big moment for Indonesia.
So many blood, sweat, and tears, even lives from
our heroes that have fought for our country’s union long time ago. Now, it is
our job to payback for their hard work by working together to restore our sea
and marine resource’s condition so that it could be as good, as blue, and as
clear as it used to be. Also, we shall not forget our responsibility as Indonesia’s citizen to
always take part in defending our country’s security in order to maintain our
union and the integrity of the Republic of Indonesia. Just as stated in the
1945 Constitution of The republic of Indonesia Article 30 Paragraph 1, “Every
citizen shall have the right and duty to participate in the defence and security
of the state”.
As stated in the 1945 Constitution of The Republic of Indonesia Article 33
Paragraph 2, “The land, the waters and the natural resources within shall be
under the powers of the State and shall be used to the greatest benefit of the
people”. Realizing the importance of the sea for Indonesia, The Indonesian’s
government has also published several regulations in order to objectify Article
33, such as:
Act. No. 5/1983, on the Indonesia Exclusive
Act No. 6/1996, on Indonesia’s Waters.
Act No. 21/1999, on Agreement for the
Implementation of The Provisions of the United Nations Convention on The Law of
The Sea of 10 December 1982 Relating to the Conservation and Management of
Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks.
Act No. 45/2009 on the Conversion of UU
No.31/2004 about Fisheries.
Act No.1/2014 on the Conversion of UU No.27/2007
about Regional Management of Coastal and Small Islands.
Act No. 34/2014 on Marine.
Government Regulation Number 15 of 1984 on
Natural Resource Management in the Indonesia Exclusive Economic Zone.
The Decree of The Minister of Marine Affairs and
Fisheries of The Republic of Indonesia No. 3A/2015, on the Task Force
Unit for Prevention and Eradication of Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing.
Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries
Regulation No.56/2016, on Prohibition of Lobster Cuting and/or Expenditure (Panulusus spp.), Crab (Scylla spp.) and Rajungan (Portunus spp.) from the State Territory
of The Republic of Indonesia.