The fishing boat KM. PKFA 7747, along with its five crew members from Myanmar were later escorted to the marine and fisheries resources control station in Belawan, North Sumatra province, for legal process, Agus Suherman, acting director general of marine and fishery resources control at the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, noted in a press statement released on Sunday.
The maritime affairs and fisheries officers aboard the Indonesian guard vessel Hiu Macan Tutul 02 arrested the Malaysian fishing boat at around 06.30 a.m. on Sunday while they were patrolling the waters.
The arrest was made just a day after the Indonesian guard vessel Orca 02 seized a Malaysian-flagged fishing boat KM. PKFA 7836.on Saturday at 11.45 a.m.
The Malaysian fishing boat, along with five crew members from Indonesia were later escorted to the marine and fisheries resources control station in Batam, Riau Islands Province, for legal process.
"The two boats were fishing in the Indonesian waters in the Malacca Strait without permits and used fishing gear, including trawls, that the Indonesian government has banned," Agus said.
The two fishing boats are believed to have violated the fisheries law. If found guilty, the crew members could be sentenced to up to six years in jail and fined up to Rp20 billion.
With this latest development of two Malaysian fishing boats being seized, the ministry's marine guard vessels have succeeded in catching 27 such illegal fishing boats since early 2019.
Eleven of the seized foreign fishing boats were Vietnamese-flagged ones, while 11 were carrying the Malaysian flag and five were Indonesian boats.