Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian authorities found a Chinese fishing ship stranded in the western waters of Tambelan Island of Riau Islands Province last Saturday.

"We have found a stranded Chinese flagged fishing ship in Indonesian waters," the Maritime and Fishery Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said here on Tuesday.

The Indonesian Navy at the Tambelan post inspected the location after it received a report from a Tambelan fisherman on 24 October, 2015.

The Navy inspected the area and found that the ship had stranded off the Mundaga Island. The officers found that the ship had a leak in its prow.

The inspection team pulled the ship away from the coral to free the Chinese vessel. They also investigated the two crew members of the ship.

According to the investigation, it was a fish cargo ship led by a helmsman, named Yang Hui. The ship with five strong Chinese crew departed from Hong Kong on October 17 and was headed to the Indian Ocean to carry fish when its GPS got damaged and it got wrecked against the coral last Saturday.

The Indonesian Youth Entrepreneur Association has urged the ministry to add more patrol boats for better monitoring of the waters to stem illegal fishing practices.

"As a maritime country, Indonesia needs more patrol boats to monitor the waters," the Chairman of the association, Anggawira, said.

He said although the cost of the patrol boat was prohibitive, the government should consider the greater loss that would accrue due to illegal poaching and fuel smuggling.

Anggawira said the total potential loss from illegal fishing and fuel smuggling can reach up to RP30 trillion per year. (*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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