Malaysia arrests 39 Vietnamese for illegal fishing

By Dang Khoa   October 18, 2018 | 11:51 pm PT
Malaysia arrests 39 Vietnamese for illegal fishing
Fishing boats anchor near Ly Son Island, in Vietnam's central Quang Ngai Province. Photo by Reuters
Malaysian authorities have arrested 39 Vietnamese fishermen in a crackdown on foreign vessels fishing illegally in their waters.

On Thursday The Star newspaper quoted the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) head, Mohd Fauzi Othman, as saying two Vietnamese fishing vessels were found approximately 45 nautical miles off the coast of Miri in northern Sarawak, where they had already caught 15 tons of seafood.

The value of the catch was estimated at RM500,000 (more than $120,000).

The newspaper said one of the boats tried to flee but was cornered after an hour’s chase.

The arrested fishermen, aged between 20 to 50, failed to show proper licenses.

The two boats were towed back to Miri.

The seizure is part of a major crackdown by the Malaysian government on encroachment and/or illegal fishing by foreigners.

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

Vietnamese authorities have been trying to raise fishermen’s awareness of maritime boundaries and international maritime laws.

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