"During a routine patrol, the Indonesian warship KRI Usman Harun-359, on Friday, found a Taiwanese-flagged fishing ship conducting an illegal activity (in the waters). The foreign fishing ship is currently being escorted to the Ranai Naval Base for further investigation," Chief of Fleet Command I Rear Admiral Abdul Rasyid noted in a written statement released on Friday night.
Rasyid remarked that the Navy had constantly patrolled the waters as part of the efforts to maintain state sovereignty and uphold the law. Personnel involved in the patrolling continue to follow health protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The commitment of Naval Chief of Staff Admiral Yudo Margono is clear that the Indonesian Navy will not hesitate to take action against any legal violation in the Indonesian waters, including illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the North Natuna Sea that comes under the jurisdiction of the Fleet Command I," he stated.
Related news: Indonesian Navy seizes Vietnamese vessel for poaching in North Natuna
Related news: Two foreign fishing vessels detained for poaching in Natuna waters
The Indonesian warship detected a foreign fishing ship allegedly catching fish in the North Natuna Sea that is the Indonesian Exclusive Economic Zone during the patrol under the operation control of the Marine Combat Group of the Fleet Command I, according to the statement.
Commander of KRI Usman Harun (USH)-359 Colonel Binsar Alfred Syaiful Sitorus then instructed his men to draw closer to the fishing ship to ascertain that illegal fishing was being conducted.
After detecting the presence of the KRI, the fishing ship attempted to move away in the north direction by increasing its speed. The commander of KRI Usman Harun ordered it to stop, though the instruction went unheeded.
The Indonesian warship later stopped the fishing ship, with the Visit Board Search and Seizure team examining its documents.
The Taiwanese flagged fishing ship had nine crew members aboard comprising two Taiwanese and seven Indonesians. (INE)
Related news: Ministry, Police to use Interpol network to combat illegal fishing
Related news: Riau Islands authorities sink 5 foreign fishing boats caught poaching