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Jakarta Post

Six foreign vessels arrested in Natuna, Malacca Strait

  • Gemma Holliani Cahya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, April 10, 2019   /   01:31 pm
Six foreign vessels arrested in Natuna, Malacca Strait Indonesian Navy personnel take into custody a fishing vessel with its Vietnamese crew members on board during a security operation in Natuna Islands waters in Riau Islands in this file photograph (Courtesy of 1st Fleet Command/-)

Foreign fishing vessels have appeared once again in Indonesian waters, with authorities detaining on Tuesday six vessels in the North Natuna Sea and Malacca Strait.  

Two patrol boats of the Maritime Affairs Ministry detained two Malaysian-flagged fishing vessels and four from Vietnam.

The ministry’s acting director general for marine and fisheries resources monitoring, Agus Suherman, said the vessels’ crew members were arrested for trespassing on Indonesian waters without a proper license from the government. They were also using a trawl to catch fish, which is considered an unsustainable fishing method and has been banned in Indonesia.

The ministry patrol boat KP Hiu 011, which was commanded by Capt. Samson, detained the four Vietnamese vessels, V 4939 TS, BV 5156 TS, BV 93817 TS and BV 93816 TS, at around 8:00 a.m.

“They arrested 24 Vietnamese crew members from the vessels,” Agus said in a statement.  

The vessels were escorted to the Pontianak Marine and Fisheries Resources Monitoring Base in West Kalimantan for legal proceedings.

Meanwhile, Capt. Ilman Rustam of KM Hiu Macan Tutul 002, led the arrest of nine crew members of two Malaysian vessels, KM. PKFA 8888 and PKF 7878, in the Malacca Strait at around 3:00 p.m. The crew members were citizens of Myanmar.

The two vessels were then brought to the Batam Marine and Fisheries Resources Monitoring Base in Riau islands for further legal proceedings.

All six vessels allegedly violated Law No. 31/2004 on fisheries, and the crew could face a maximum sentence of six years' imprisonment and a Rp 20 billion (US$1.4 million) fine.