TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Two illegal Vietnam-flagged ships were captured by Fishing Monitoring Ship 'Hiu 03' on Thursday, August 20, 2020, for stealing fish in the Indonesian Fishery Management Territory (WPP-NRI) 771 South Natuna Sea.
"Two foreign fishing ships have been secured in North Natuna Sea," said Director General of Marine and Fisheries Resources Supervision of the Ministry of Maritime and Fisheries Affairs Tb Haeru Rahayu in a written statement on Saturday, August 22, 2020.
Haeru said that the two ships were captured without resistance. Crews of the Fishing Monitoring Ship 'Hiu 03', which was led Ardiansyah Pamuji, successfully stopped the foreign ships suspected for catching fish by using pair trawl.
Haeru explained that this recent arrest was a little different compared to previous arrests, which often involve pursuits of the illegal ships. This time, the illegal ships were unable to do much when they were being captured by the Ministry's ship.
"Thank God, the arrest was without resistance," Haeru said.
Meanwhile, the Director of Fleet Surveillance and Operation Pung Nugroho Saksono, asserted that the smooth arrest of the two Vietnam ships is proof of the resilience of the crews of the fishing monitoring ships.
"Our monitoring ships' crews are resilient, agile, and determined. This is what we believed to have resulted in deterrent effect for fish thieves," Nugroho said.
Nugroho also urged his subordinates to remain vigilant in conducting operations in the field. The reason was previously, there had been tense confrontation in the North Natuna Sea when the Malaysian officials had to fire shots against Vietnam fishermen who resisted arrest by crashing their ship and throwing molotov bombs to the Malaysian ship.
"Of course the incident serves as a reminder for us all to be increasingly cautious," Nugroho said.
The arrest of the two Vietnam ships add to the long list of fish thiefs successfully arrested by the Fishing Monitoring Ship of the Ministry of Maritime and Fisheries Affairs under the leadership of Minister of Maritime and Fisheries Edhy Prabowo. A total of 54 foreign fishing ships have been arrested, consisting of 27 foreign ships with Vietnam flags, 14 ships with Philippine flags, 12 foreign ships with Malaysian flags, and 1 foreign ship with the Taiwan flag.
EKO WAHYUDI | HENDARTYO HANGGI