Indonesia detains ‘illegal’ Vietnamese fishing boats

JAKARTA (AFP) – Indonesia said it has detained dozens of crew from Vietnamese boats fishing illegally in waters that were the scene of a diplomatic spat with China earlier this year.

The maritime ministry said five fishing boats and some 68 crew members were seized after being intercepted last Sunday near Indonesia’s Natuna islands, which border the South China Sea.

Last year Indonesia accused the Vietnamese coastguard of ramming one of its vessels to stop the interception of a boat fishing illegally. Indonesia, the world’s biggest archipelago nation, has been trying to stop foreign vessels fishing in its territory, saying it costs Southeast Asia’s economy billions of dollars annually.