Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA) - The Security Maintenance Agency (Baharkam) of the Indonesian Police has captured four Vietnamese fishing boats for illegally fishing in the North Natuna Sea Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

"On August 27 (2021), the Bisma 8001 patrol boat captured four Vietnamese boats," Baharkam head, Police Commissioner General Arif Sulistyanto, disclosed in Batam on Tuesday.

The four boats, which were carrying around one ton of fish, were towed to Batuampar dock in Batam City and taken into evidence, he said. The four captains of the boats and 36 crew members were also arrested by police.

As the crime scene is within the national Exclusive Economic Zone, the investigation into the illegal fishing case would be assisted by the Directorate General of Marine and Fisheries Resources Surveillance (PSDKP), Sulistyanto informed.

"We are used to collaborating and working together. Despite different legal basis, procedures, and work scope, protecting the country remains our common duty," he remarked.

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Meanwhile, director general of the PSDKP, Rear Admiral Adin Nurawaluddin, confirmed his agency's readiness to collaborate with Baharkam to investigate illegal fishing practices within Indonesia's Exclusive Economic Zone.

"There would not be any compromise to eradicate illegal fishing practices in Indonesian waters," Nurawaluddin stated.

Director of the Water and Air Police Corps, Police Brigadier General Yassin Kosasih, confirmed that security officers received a tip from local fishermen concerning foreign boats conducting illegal fishing in Indonesian waters.

The foreign fishing boats arrived in Indonesian waters at night and departed by dawn to evade Indonesian surveillance ships, he informed. Upon seizing the boats, police officials found they contained 39 hatches that could hold a maximum of five tons of fish, he said.

From the operation against four Vietnamese boats alone, around 2,340 tons of fish, with Rp1 billion (around US$70 million) income potential, have been saved, he added.

Related news: Indonesia detains 13 Vietnamese fishing boats

Translator: Yuniati JN, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Suharto
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