The Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries seized one Malaysian-flagged vessel in the Malaka Strait and five Indonesian-flagged vessels in the Fisheries Management Area of the Republic of Indonesia (WPPNRI) 714 at Tolo Bay Waters area and Makasar Strait.
According to Adin Nurawaluddin, the Marine and Fisheries Resources Supervisory DG, the foreign vessel from Malaysia named KM. PKFB 1032 tried to cut the fisheries net and ran away toward the disputed waters known as the grey area.
“This modus operandi is often done by Malaysian-flagged vessels with the intention to prevent officers from taking measures in the grey area,” Adin said in a written statement quoted by Tempo on Monday, October 23, 2023.
Investigation showed that KM. PKFB 1032 crew are all Myanmar nationals. This is not unusual for Malaysian-flagged vessels, Adin explained. In addition to the foreign crew, officers also found evidence of 110 kilograms of mixed fish caught by the vessel.
“In addition to stealing Indonesia’s fish, the vessel caused damage to the ecosystem since they operated illegal trawls. Not only catching targeted fish, [trawl] will potentially catch non-targeted fish,” Adin said. The vessel was then escorted by KP. HIU 16 to Langsa Supervisory Unit to be legally processed.
The ministry also halted five units of Indonesian vessels found violating the fisheries regulations at the Tolo Bay Waters area, Banda Sea, and Makasar Strait. Three of these vessels allegedly violated the designated Fishing Ground while the rest were accused of fishing without permits and using prohibited fishing tools.