Authorities seize trawlers in Rokan Hilir
PEKANBARU: Authorities intercepted nine fishing boats from North Sumatra in waters off Rokan Hilir regency, Riau, on suspicion of using bottom-trawl nets. The boat skippers have been named as suspects and their boats seized for evidence.
Rokan Hilir Fishery and Maritime Office head Amrizal said that the boats were intercepted as they were operating bottom-trawl nets in waters off Sinaboi district. Local fishermen have been complaining about meager fish catches due to competition from the trawlers.
“Initially, only three boats were caught using bottom-trawl nets. When we intercepted the boats, six other boats arrived to help as they thought their colleagues were fighting. After inspection, the six boats also turned out to be using bottom-trawl nets,” Amrizal said on Monday.
According to Amrizal, the boat skippers claimed they hailed from Tanjung Balai city and Sungai Berombang district in Asahan regency, North Sumatra. They were detained for violating the 2009 Fisheries Law.
“According to the decree, large-scale fishermen could face five years in prison and fined Rp 2 billion [US$235,000] and small-scale fishermen could face a year in prison and fined Rp 500 million if found guilty,” he said.
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