Indonesian Authorities Seize Illegal Fishing Vessel Flying Malaysian Flag in Malacca Strait

Indonesian Authorities Seize Illegal Fishing Vessel Raising Malaysian Flag in Malacca Strait
Indonesia's Hiu 3 Patrol Ship apprehends an illegal fishing vessel.Photo: HUMAS DITJEN PSDKP.

Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KPP) has successfully seized a Malaysian-flagged illegal fishing vessel caught engaging in illegal fishing activities in the Indonesian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in Zone 571 of the Malacca Strait.

Acting Director General of Marine and Fisheries Resources Surveillance (PSDKP), Pung Nugroho Saksono (Ipunk), stated in Jakarta that the vessel PKFB 1269 was apprehended while engaged in fish theft in Indonesian waters. The vessel lacked proper fishing permits and was employing illegal fishing gear (trawl nets).

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"This is a demonstration of KKP's commitment to firmly address fish thieves. It also reflects our dedication to combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUUF), showing that the state stands alongside the community in eradicating such practices," Ipunk said in a press release on Friday (4/26/2024).

The vessel, weighing 97 gross tonnage (GT) and carrying a crew of five, including the captain who is a foreign national from Myanmar, was intercepted by the Patrol Ship Hiu 03 on April 25, 2024, at 15:20 Jakarta time.

"This action is also part of my 100-day work plan, in line with the mandate given by Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Mr. Sakti Wahyu Trenggono, since February 12, 2024," Ipunk explained.

Moreover, the vessel PKFB 1269 is suspected of using the documents of another vessel previously apprehended by PSDKP in June 2022, which was subsequently destroyed based on the Langsa District Court Decision No. 116/Pid.Sus/2022/PN Lgs dated September 7, 2022.

PSDKP is also coordinating with the Malaysian Fisheries Department, which is investigating the possibility of document misuse or other indications contrary to licensing regulations in the neighboring country.

"It is true that the ship that was caught by Hiu 03, which bears the same hull number as the seized vessel, is another vessel suspected of using permits or Vessel Licenses similar to the Malaysian vessel captured in 2022," he said.

The seized illegal vessel is expected to arrive at the PSDKP Base in Batam on Friday, April 26, 2024, for further legal proceedings by the Fisheries Law Enforcement Unit.

The vessel is suspected of violating a Maritime and Fisheries Sector Law, with a maximum penalty of imprisonment for up to 5 years and a maximum fine of IDR 2 billion.

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