Malaysia arrests 12 Vietnamese for illegal fishing

By Nguyen Quy   June 22, 2018 | 02:22 am PT
Malaysia arrests 12 Vietnamese for illegal fishing
A Vietnamese fisherman is on his boat. Photo by Reuters
Value of two boats, their catch and fishing equipment seized by the Malaysian authorities is estimated at $249,234.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has seized two fishing boats and detained 12 Vietnamese fishermen for illegally fishing in Malaysian waters.

Malaysian news agency Bernama quoted Kudat Boon Chin Chau, head of MMEA, as saying that the boats were spotted illegally entering waters off Kudat, about 98 nautical miles northwestern off the Malaysia’s Pulau Balambangan Island, at 2:30 p.m. on June 19.

The agency seized the boats including a total catch of four tons of seafood. The value of the boats, the catch and fishing equipment has been estimated at MYR1 million ($249,234).

The detained Vietnamese fishermen, between 20 and 40, failed to show valid identification documents, the agency said.

The fishermen have been taken to a detention center in Kudat for further action.

The seizure of the Vietnamese fishing boats is part of a large-scale crackdown by the Malaysian government on encroachment and/or illegal fishing activities by foreigners.

Hundreds of Vietnamese fishermen have been charged with fishing violations in foreign waters in recent years.

Last March, 14 Vietnamese fishermen were arrested off the coast of the Philippines for “poaching” in the country’s territorial waters.

Vietnamese authorities have been trying to raise awareness about maritime boundaries and international maritime laws among Vietnamese fishermen.

They have also increased the fluency of patrols to try and minimize potential violations.

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