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Jakarta Post

Detained Chinese boat captain admits to fishing in Indonesian waters

  • Rendi A. Witular

    The Jakarta Post

Ranai, Riau Islands   /   Thu, June 2, 2016   /  02:02 pm
Detained Chinese boat captain admits to fishing in Indonesian waters Ziang Tuang Chean (right) of the detained Gui Bei Yu 27088 talks to his interpreter at the Ranai Naval base in Natuna, Riau Islands. (JP/Rendi A. Witular)

The captain of fishing vessel Gui Bei Yu 27088 has admitted to having repeatedly entered Indonesia for poaching before being caught by the Indonesian Navy last week. 

Ziang Tuang Chean said he was aware that he had been operating in Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone ( EEZ ) in the South China Sea, and that he was forced to fish there because it was among the few remaining places that still held an enormous amount of fishery resources. 

"It was my third time fishing in the area before being caught by the Indonesian Navy," said Ziang through his interpreter on Thursday. 

"I am aware that I had operated in Indonesian waters. There are still many fish there compared to other places," he said, adding that it took him around a week to arrive in Natuna from Guangxi, China. 

The Navy seized the vessel and arrested its eight crew members on May 27 after it entered the resource-rich Natuna area off the northwest coast of Kalimantan for alleged poaching. 

The Navy said the arrests should serve as a warning to the world that the Indonesian military would not tolerate any breach of Indonesian sovereignty by foreign vessels.

Ziang and his crew are currently detained in a cell at a naval command base in Ranai, Riau Islands. 

"We were forced to detain them because they resisted arrest, and we're afraid they may cause nuisance," said Ranai Navy commander Col. Arif Badrudin. 

Only the captain, chief mechanic and fishmaster will face prosecution for the violations while the remaining crew will be sent home. (dmr)

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