25 Vietnamese fishermen were arrested on Thursday for illegally fishing in waters off Thailand and Malaysia, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
Two boats carrying nine crew members were detained while catching sea cucumbers in Thailand’s southern waters, and their catch of 30 kilograms was seized.
All the fishermen have been detained for further questioning.
Another fishing boat and 16 fishermen were seized by Malaysian authorities the same day.
A representative from Malaysia said that the 16 fishermen didn’t have any travel documents or fishing licenses. They also found a batch of frozen seafood worth $13,500.
The representative added that they could have purchased the seafood from local fishermen, so they would not charge the fishermen until a further investigation had been conducted.
In the first six months this year, 84 fishing boats and 608 Vietnamese fishermen were seized for illegally fishing in the waters of neighboring countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Colonel Tran Van Nam from Vietnam’s Coast Guard explained that many fishermen are unaware of international maritime law or the boundaries of Vietnam’s waters, so they unwittingly stray into foreign fishing zones. However, others are aware of their actions, Nam admitted.
To prevent illegal fishing, the country’s Fisheries Resources Surveillance Department is trying to raise awareness about maritime boundaries and international maritime law, and conducts frequent patrols to prevent potential violations.