Sorong, West Papua (ANTARA News) - The West Papua Water Police have detained 14 fishermen suspected of catching fish by using explosive materials in the waters of Uisang Island, Fakfak District, and in Arguni Bay of Sorong District in West Papua.
West Papua Water Police Chief Senior Commissioner Giuseppe Renhard Gultom remarked here on Tuesday that the 14 fishermen are temporarily undergoing investigation for further legal proceedings.
"The other pieces of evidence we seized from the fishermen are 97 fish bombs, some compressors, diving tools, two bags of potassium as raw material for fish bombing activities, and 500 kilograms of fish," Gultom noted.
He revealed that the fishermen were detained by a joint team of the Water Police Directorate of West Papua while patrolling the waters of Papua by using an Enggano ship from the Police Headquarters.
Initial inspection results indicated that these fishermen have repeatedly conducted blast fishing activities in the waters of West Papua, so the West Papua Water Police had initiated operations since long to catch them.
According to Gultom, the fish bombs used by the fishermen are quite large, and the explosive power of the bombs can destroy coral reefs in the waters of West Papua.
The long-standing, environmentally harmful fishing practices have also damaged the reefs in the Cendrawasih Bay Marine National Park in West Papua.