Government seizes Vietnam`s vessel with 45 tons of illegal fish

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) has seized a Vietnam-flagged fishing vessel which had allegedly captured 45 tons of fish illegally in Indonesian waters.

"The ship was seized by fisheries surveillance vessel (KP), Hiu Macan Tutul 002, when it was performing illegal fishing activities and had caught fish worth over 45 tons," the Director General of Marine Resources and Fisheries (PSDKP) of MMAF, Asep Burhanuddin, said in written statement here Tuesday.

Burhanuddin explained that the Vietnam-flagged vessel with number KM BV 9980 TS and weighing 85 gross tonnage (GT) was arrested in the Indonesian Exclusive Economic Zone (ZEEI), around Natuna, Riau Islands, on September 12, 2015 at around 8:05 pm.

He also revealed that the vessel was caught fishing in the Regional Fisheries Management of the Republic of Indonesia (WPP-NRI) without the necessary permits from the Government of Indonesia.

In addition, the vessel was also using prohibited fishing gear that could damage marine resources and fisheries, such as pair trawl.

During the arrest, officers also secured evidence in the form of the vessel with number KM. BV 9980 TS, one radio SSB communication tool, a GPS navigation tool, one unit wet compass, and 45,000 kg of various varieties of fish.

The six Vietnam crew members along with the evidence were escorted to the Unit PSDKP Natuna to face further prosecution.

The Vietnam vessel was suspected of violating Article 93 paragraph (2) in conjunction with Article 27 (2) of Law No. 45 of 2009 on amendments to the Law No. 31 of 2004 on Fisheries.

The punishment for such a crime can invite maximum imprisonment of six years and a fine of up to Rp20 billion.

Burhanuddin added that the Directorate General PSDKP has conducted legal proceedings against 103 perpetrators illegal fishing during 2015.

The number of illegal fishing vessels comprise 55 foreign vessels and 48 Indonesians. The foreign ships were 36 Vietnamese vessels, eight from the Philippines, six from Malaysia, and five from Thailand.(*)