TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry has once again captured three foreign fishing vessels due to illegal fishing at the WPP 711 Natuna Sea area on August 10. Minister Edhy Prabowo said the fishing boats have been escorted to the Maritime and Fisheries Monitoring Task Force (PSDKP) base in Pontianak for further investigation.
“The three vessels were operated by ship crews up to 26 people. But of course not all the crews were detained. Some will be sent back to their country,” said Edhy in a press conference held in Bali Wednesday, August 10.
The captured vessels operated the seine fishing method with one fishing boat weighing 23 gross tonnes to lead the two other vessels weighing 98 gross tonnes. The Minister said there were potential losses endured by Indonesia in their illegal activities but he was not keen to explain how much was lost.
Moreover, the vessels suspected of illegal fishing will later be confiscated and be handed to fisheries schools or research institutions. Minister Edhy Prabowo assured that the vessels will not be demolished if the physical conditions of the vessels are feasible.
He also mentioned that his ministry managed to arrest 69 illegal fishing boats, mostly from Vietnam and Malaysia, since he was appointed as the Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Minister.
FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA