Patrol ships seize five Vietnamese-flagged fishing vessels

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - A patrol ship of the Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs (KKP) has seized five Vietnamese-flagged boats for allegedly fishing illegally in Indonesian waters.

"The KKP has once again showed success in protecting the countrys sovereignty and fisheries and marine resources," the Secretary of the Ministrys Directorate General of Fisheries and Marine Resources Supervision, Waliyo Abutohir, said in a press statement received here on Friday.

He said the foreign vessels were caught in the Indonesia Exclusive Economic Zone around the South China Sea on April 21.

The ships are identified as KM. TG 94196 TS, TG 91917 TS, KM. TG 90869 TS, KM. TG 92367 TS and KM. TG 92512 TS.

A total of 31 crew members, who are all Vietnamese citizens, have been arrested following the operation and arrived in Pontianak on Thursday.

"They will be legally processed," Waliyo said.

From January till the end of April this year, KKP has seized up to 68 ships for illegally fishing in the countrys waters.

KKP Minister Susi Pudjiastuti revealed during a visit to Japan recently that Indonesia would adopt Japans radar surveillance technology to monitor the countrys fishery and maritime sector.

"I was in Wakatobi some days ago and saw a Japanese-made radar there. I hope Indonesia can have more of them to be placed minimally in four locations in Indonesia," she said.

Susi further said she had expressed an interest in the Japanese technology when she met with the President Director of Japan Radio Co (JRC), Kenji Ara, on April 12.

On the occasion, Kenji said JRC has six representative companies in Indonesia employing 3,200 Indonesia workers.

"We are glad to hear that the minister is interested in the JRC monitoring system. We will be happy discussing it and contributing to the Indonesian radar system. Perhaps, it will be later," he said.

Minister Susi said Indonesia needs radars to improve KKPs surveillance technology to make prevention of illegal fishing boats more optimal.

She added that she was interested in the JRC radar because it could detect foreign ships entering the countrys waters within a radius of up to 150 kilometers.

"The Indonesian government is exploring the latest surveillance technology that may be used in Indonesia." (*)