The role of the maritime pilot is very important in maintaining maritime security, which in turn leads to the prosperity that results from the sea. Maritime is a complex ecosystem so that a safe sea will increase world trust in Indonesia which is located on the cross of the world’s oceans.
“There are 147 compulsory pilotage passages that will increase Indonesia’s competitiveness in the maritime sector,” said Assistant Operations to Indonesian Navy Staff Rear Admiral Didik Setiono, during a discussion on “The Role of Maritime Pilots in Advancing the Indonesian Maritime Sector” which was held in the framework of the 18th Anniversary of the Indonesian Maritime Pilots Association (Inampa).
President Inampa Pasoroan Herman Harianja, who opened the event, said that Indonesian maritime affairs must be guarded by all policy makers, including the maritime pilots. Captain Simon Pelletier as President of the International Maritime Pilots’ Association said, there are many challenges as a maritime pilot in Indonesia. For that, he reminded the guides to maintain professionalism and independence. That way, they can make the right decision.
“Maritime Pilots must be able to withstand pressure from any party to maintain safety. Safety cannot be compromised,” said Simon.
This is of course not easy because there are many interests at sea, not only from ship owners, but also from the current situation. He said, do not compromise on one interest so that the interests of the community will be secondary. “Maritime safety will lead to prosperity because it is predictable and reliable for sea users,” said Simon.
Didik said, current threats are not easy to overcome, including maritime threats. Not only does it create volatility, but it is also unpredictable, complex, and involves many interests. The current potential sea threats include territorial violations, pirates, armed piracy, accidents, smuggling of goods, human smuggling and fishing.
Didik said that in protecting the sea, the Indonesian Navy cooperates with many parties, including the pilots who guard the sea, especially shipping in narrow channels. Moreover, many Indonesian Navy bases are located in narrow and strategic channels. Among other things, maritime safety depends on the pilots. Likewise, the security of warships and Indonesian Navy bases.
“With Inampa, we need to exchange information for maritime protection, and from the pilots, we can get intelligence data,” said Didik.
The Indonesian sea is very dense. Every day there are 5,868 ships sailing in the Indonesian sea. There are many challenges related to maritime safety, such as the dangers of navigation in the sea lanes of the Indonesian archipelago and the strait. There are also issues with shipworthiness, competence of ship crews, and traffic control in the strait.
The Operations Director of the Maritime Security Agency Colonel Bakamla Suwito also underlined the importance of exchanging information between Bakamla and marine pilots regarding maritime security. In addition, marine pilots can also assist in maritime literacy, especially regarding issues of pilotage and tugage. “Maritime security and protecting the marine environment for future welfare also need assistance,” he said.