TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Directorate General of Marine Resources Surveillance of the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry detained 5 illegal foreign fishing boats in North Natuna Sea in Riau Islands and arrested 68 Vietnamese crew members.
"Our personnel have detained five illegal fishing boats in Indonesia's fisheries management area in North Natuna Sea on March 1, 2020," Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Edhy Prabowo stated here on Wednesday.
The five foreign vessels are KG 94376 TS, PAF 4837, KG 94654 TS, PAF 4696, and KG 95786 TS, all of them detained for using banned trawl net.
Prabowo has lauded the operation launched by the marine resource surveillance agency. "I laud the spirit and courage of the surveillance crews to crackdown on illegal fishing," he stated.
The five foreign vessels were first detected by the ministry's surveillance ship in Indonesia's Economic Exclusive Zone, southwest of Tarempa Island bordering with the overlapping claimed area between Indonesia and Malaysia.
"These illegal fishing vessels attempted to trick our personnel to make them believe that they (the ships) are Malaysians. They did not hoist any flags but used the code C2 in the vessels' hull, a code for Malaysian fishing ship to operate in the EEZ," he explained.
However, the ministry's personnel did not retrieve any documents to prove that the ships are Malaysian fishing boats, and all the crew were Vietnamese.
"These boats attempted to capitalize on the agreement between Indonesia and Malaysia to expel ships operating in the overlapping claim area," the minister explained.