The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian Maritime Security Board (Bakamla) patrol boat the KN Tanjung Datu 301 has captured an Indonesian-flagged vessel carrying a Vietnamese crew for illegally fishing in the North Natuna Sea in Riau Islands on Saturday.
The patrol boat had given the fishing vessel three warning shots before capturing it and its crew.
Bakamla sea operation director First Admiral Suwito said the vessel was found to be foreign despite bearing the Indonesian flag.
The ship, codenamed BT 95212, was manned by 10 Vietnamese crew members, including the captain. Aboard the ship, the Indonesian authorities found about 2 tons of fish with several pieces of dried shark fins.
The vessel did not have the proper documents to fish in Indonesian waters.
“The foreign vessel tried to deceive Indonesian authorities by waving the Indonesia flag to illegally fish within Indonesia’s Exclusive Economic Zone [EEZ],” Suwito said on Saturday.
Col. Arif Rahman led the KN Tanjung Datu 301 and was patrolling the North Natuna Sea in an operation dubbed KAMLAMLA XII/2020 just after midnight on Saturday.
During the patrol, the patrol boat caught visual and radar cues signaling there might be another ship about 5 nautical miles from the boat’s position.
“The KN Tanjung Datu 301 then approached the vessel to identify it, but the vessel sped up to get away. The vessel only stopped after three warning shots,” Suwito said.
Authorities brought the vessel and its 10 crewmembers to Ranai Naval Base in Natuna Island for further investigation.
Illegal fishing has been rampant along Indonesia’s maritime borders on the Malacca Strait and the Natuna Sea.
The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry's Hiu Macan Tutul 02 patrol boat captured on Dec. 6 Malaysian-flagged fishing vessel KF 5152 for illegally fishing in the Indonesian part of the Strait of Malacca.
Four crew members, comprising two Indonesians and two Burmese nationals, were detained.
Last month, ministry patrols captured two Malaysian-flagged fishing vessels, KM SLFA 5223 and KM PKFB 1786, for allegedly fishing in the Indonesian part of the Malacca Strait.
The ships had three and four members on board, respectively, all of them were Indonesian nationals.
Also last month, the Indonesian Navy captured three Malaysian-flagged vessels for allegedly fishing within Indonesia’s EEZ in the Malacca Strait. The Navy detained 11 Myanmar and six Thai nationals aboard the three fishing vessels. (ami)