Malaysia released four Belawan fishermen

Medan, North Sumatra (ANTARA News) - The Medan chapter of the All Indonesia Fishermen`s Association confirmed that four fishermen from Belawan caught by Malaysian marine police two weeks ago had been released.

"We are grateful the four fishermen from Belawan, Medan, have finally been released by the Malaysian government," the chief of the Medan chapter of HSNI, Zulfahri Siagian, said to ANTARA News here on Saturday.

The fishermen are Effendi as skipper, Muhammad Yunan, Rahmat and Wirya.

He said after the repair of their traditional fishing boat is done in Malaysia the fishermen will have arrived at Belawan in the next two days.

The fishermen were caught by Malaysia`s marine police (TLDM) while they were fishing in the Indonesia Exclusive Economic Zone in the Malacca Strait on October 1, 2011.

Following their arrest officials from the Medan chapter of HSNI and other government offices concerned met the Malayasian consul general in Medan to discuss the problem.

Zulfahri said that the fishermen were still in the Indonesian territory when they were caught.

He said the HSNI Medan asserted that the arrest was against the memorandum of understanding signed by the Indonesian fisheries and marine resources and its Malaysian counterpart.

One of the articles in the MOU states that traditional fishermen with a boat weighing below three gross tons from Indonesia or Malaysia are allowed to fish in the waters of the neighboring countries.

He said the Indonesian and Malaysian governments need to re-discuss their agreement on the coordinates of sea border between the two countries.

He said the agreement was needed to avoid recurrence of such incident in the future.
(Uu.ANT-197/H-YH/HAJM/A014)

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