The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian Navy warship KRI Bung Tomo-357 seized a Vietnamese-flagged vessel caught fishing illegally in the country’s outermost islands of the North Natuna Sea on Sunday.
The KRI Bung Tomo head's of operation, captain Edo, explained that the operation followed reports from another navy ship that picked up the signals of a foreign fishing vessel during a sea patrol code-named Rakata Jaya Operation in Natuna Waters.
“The Vietnamese-flagged vessel was caught fishing in the area within 1.5 nautical miles from the coastline,” Edo said on Tuesday as quoted by kompas.com.
Roughly 1 ton of fish was seized during the operation and 12 of the ship’s crew members were arrested for further investigation.
Previous reports show that illegal fishing remains rife within the waters of Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone in Riau Islands province. Observers have bemoaned the continued practice of illegal fishing, which is partly exacerbated by a lack of surveillance ships and regulations.
Since the anti-illegal fishing task force led by former minister Susi Pudjiastuti was disbanded in December, the ministry detained only 19 foreign fishing vessels in the first three months of this year, a far cry from previous endeavors.
During her term, Susi reportedly destroyed over 500 foreign vessels between October 2014 and October 2019. (vny)