Vietnam requests Indonesia to release fishing vessels, crew

By Vu Anh   March 25, 2021 | 06:09 am PT
Vietnam requests Indonesia to release fishing vessels, crew
A Vietnamese fishing boat at sea. Illustration photo by Shutterstock.
Vietnam Thursday requested Indonesia to release 43 fishermen and two fishing vessels captured near the border area of both countries earlier this month.

Foreign Affairs Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said at a press meet Thursday the ministry has received information regarding the two fishing vessels along with the fishermen who were captured by Indonesian authorities on March 18 while fishing in the delimitated continental shelf boundary area between Vietnam and Indonesia.

"Vietnamese maritime authorities have called on Indonesia to release the fishermen and the fishing vessels," Hang said.

The ministry has instructed the Vietnamese Embassy in Indonesia to contact local authorities and verify the incident, while preparing for any necessary citizen protection measures that might need to be taken, she said.

Indonesian news outlets had earlier this month reported the capture of two Vietnamese fishing vessels, along with around 500 tons of fish and other fishing equipment. Vietnamese fishermen on the vessels may be charged with violating Indonesian laws on fisheries, the reports said.

Indonesia has on multiple occassions sunk fishing vessels from other countries for alleged illegal fishing. Vietnam has repeatedly requested that Indonesia deals with such issues with a humanitarian spirit, giving consideration to cordial bilateral relations and common rules.

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