Fisheries society protests Indonesia’s arrest of Vietnamese fishermen

By Viet Tuan   August 25, 2020 | 07:02 pm PT
Fisheries society protests Indonesia’s arrest of Vietnamese fishermen
Fishing boats anchored in Khanh Hoa Province, central Vietnam in 2019. Photo courtesy of Khanh Hoa Newspaper.
The Vietnam Fisheries Society has criticized Indonesia’s illegal arrest of Vietnamese fishermen, and demanded their release and the return of their boats.

In a communication to the Government Office, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Communist Party's Central Foreign Affairs Commission on Monday, it said Indonesia has to ensure the safety of Vietnamese fishermen and their boats and that similar incidents do not occur again.

It also called on the Vietnamese government to condemn the Indonesian action and bring the fishermen back home safely soon, and strengthen patrols to promptly assist fishermen at sea.

On August 10 three Vietnamese fishing vessels from the south central province of Khanh Hoa with 26 crew members on board were seized and towed away by Indonesian authorities while they were fishing in Vietnamese territorial waters. The fishermen were arrested and taken out of Vietnamese waters.

Last year senior Vietnamese and Indonesian defense officials pledged to treat fishermen from either country humanely, avoiding the use of and threat to use force.

Vietnam and Indonesia have been working for years to speed up negotiations on the delimitation of their exclusive economic zones (EEZ).

In 2003 the two countries reached an agreement on continental shelf boundaries after 30 years of negotiations.

Since President Joko Widodo took office in Indonesia in 2014, hundreds of foreign fishing vessels have been scuttled, more than half from Vietnam, according to AFP.

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