Indonesia has embarked the task counting its islands order to better protect its territory and marine resources. It hopes to locate and name an additional 1,700 islands time the UN Conference the Standardization Geographical Names in August. Indonesia wants to claim sovereignty and fishing rights the waters surrounding the islands, many which its neighbors also claim. The Indonesian government says illegal fishing its waters is costing billions of dollars lost revenue each year. A fisheries spokeswoman told the BBC: "Sixty per cent islands in Indonesia don't have a name or officially have legal status, so they can easily be taken or claimed another country."
Indonesia is the world's largest archipelago. At the last UN conference geographical names 2012, Indonesia registered 13,466 islands. A law 1996 estimated that the number islands was 17,508. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea defines an island as, "a naturally formed area land, surrounded water, which is still exposed high tide". A spokesman Indonesia's Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries explained the scale of the task the counting team had. He said: "We have to visit every one these islands, and then we note the coordinates, the name, the meaning of the name, the history the land and describe the landscape and its geographical history…all that great detail."