The Indonesian Navy reportedly has detained one of Interpol’s most-wanted fishing vessels, STS-50, in the southeastern part of Weh Island waters in Aceh on Friday.
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said on Saturday the arrest was made after Interpol’s National Central Bureau (NCB) notified the Indonesian government that the STS-50 vessel was heading to Indonesian waters on Thursday.
The ship is among the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing boats listed on the record issued by the regional fisheries management organizations' Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, she said as reported by kompas.com.
The Simeulue ship, which was dispatched on Friday at 5:30 p.m., captured the STS-50 vessel some 60 miles from the southeastern part of Weh Island.
The stateless fish-poaching boat had 20 crew members onboard, 14 of which are Indonesian while the remaining six are Russian. The vessel was equipped with 600 sets of gill nets. Each gill net is 50 meters long, indicating that the ship has the capacity to sweep up to 30 square kilometers in the water.
“Officers from the military, the ministry and the police will work under Satgas 115 to investigate the crime,” Susi said. Satgas 115 is the government's task force for combating illegal fishing in Indonesia.
According to Article 92 in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Indonesia's government has the authority to take any measures on the stateless vessel, either reusing it or sinking it. (vla)