Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Marine and Fisheries has seized six foreign boats for illegal fishing in the North Natuna Sea and Sulawesi waters.

The ministry's Director General of Marine and Fisheries Resources Surveillance Adin Nurawaluddin stated that five of the six illegal boats are Philippine-flagged, while the other is a Vietnamese boat.

"The security monitoring operation, conducted under the integrated monitoring system supported by monitoring technologies at the fisheries management regions, has been successful. Our commitment to continue monitoring the sea will never recede," Nurawaluddin noted, as per the statement here on Monday.

The director general explained that five Philippine-flagged boats -- FB LB LIAM GIL-2, FV REAN-02, FB ZIAN 01, FB LB NOVIRO 08, and FB MISHRAY -- have been seized by the authority during the monitoring operation conducted by crew members of surveillance boat KP Orca 1 at varied locations in the Sulawesi waters.

Meanwhile, a Vietnamese-flagged boat named TG 9817 TS has been seized during a monitoring operation by surveillance boat KP Orca 3 at the North Natuna Sea, he stated.

"Concerning the Vietnamese-flagged boat, the boat itself, the pair trawl fishing gear, and some caught fish have been secured by our unit in Anambas," he added.

The authority found that two of the five seized Philippine-flagged ships -- FV REAN-02 and FB ZIAN 01 -- are suspected to be pump boats converted into light-fishing boats, which Nurawaluddin pointed out was a new tactic being employed.

"The modus operandi is quite new. They converted a pump boat, which ought to be the ship used to catch fish, to be a light-fishing boat, and making it an assist boat," he remarked.

From the five seized Philippine boats, the authority also arrested 13 Filipino crew members and confiscated several objects as items of evidence, including some 500 kilograms of harvested ships, he noted, adding that the boats have been secured at their unit in Bitung for investigation.

Nurawaluddin affirmed that the directorate general would observe the marine and fisheries minister's instruction to ensure that law enforcement against illegal fishing boats benefited local fishermen.

"The ministry will push for the seized boats to be handed over to local fishermen," he remarked.

Related news: Vietnamese-flagged boat detained for poaching in North Natuna waters
Related news: Two Vietnamese boats caught in Natuna waters

Translator: Ilham Yude P, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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