Raja Ampat police nab Vietnam-flagged fishing boat

Raja Ampat police nab Vietnam-flagged fishing boat

Tabulate Acropora coral colonies in the waters Sapropen, Raja Ampat, West Papua. (ANTARA FOTO/Prasetyo Utomo)

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News) - The Raja Ampat Police nabbed a Vietnam-flagged fishing boat, Thanh Cong 99612 TS GT, found fishing illegally in West Papua Provinces Misol waters on Monday.

"The boat was nabbed while it was fishing illegally in Misol waters," Chief of the Raja Ampat Police Resort Adjunct Senior Commissioner Nelson Sagala said on Monday.

The boat was catching sharks and had two tons of dried and fresh sharks on board, when it was intercepted.

"The boat was captained by a Vietnamese, Nam, and had 11 crew members aboard," the police stated.

The fishing boat has been taken to Waisai by the Raja Ampat Water Police for further investigation.

President Joko Widodo has ordered all parties concerned in the country to take the strongest possible action against foreign fishing boats poaching in Indonesian waters.

"I say, do not just nab foreign fishing boats poaching in Indonesian waters. If needed, sink them straightaway, but save their crew members first. If we do that with some 20 boats, others will think twice before setting out for illegal fishing in Indonesian waters," Jokowi had said last November.

The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry plans to strengthen its surveillance capacity to combat illegal fishing in Indonesian waters by building four new surveillance vessels in 2015, a top government official said.

"Under the Indonesian Fisheries Supervisory Ship System program, the ministry will build four new ships this year," Director General of Maritime Resources and Fisheries Supervision, Asep Burhanudin, said recently.

The four news ships, expected to become operational by the end of this year, will support 27 surveillance vessels currently operated by the ministry, he remarked.

"We are also doing our best to increase the number of operational days from 116 to 210 and take them eventually to 280," Burhanudin added.