KUALA TERENGGANU (Bernama) – The Terengganu Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has seized 52 foreign fishing boats mostly from Vietnam, for encroaching into Malaysian waters for illegal fishing activities over the last six months.
MMEA Deputy Director of Operations Maritime Commander Muhammad Suffi Mohd Ramli said 43 of the ships were seized in Terengganu waters while nine were from the coast off Pahang with catch worth RM52 million.
“The latest detention of a Vietnamese fishing boat last night, about 50 nautical miles from the Kuala Terengganu River, also saw the detention of 16 fishermen and the boat’s skipper.
“They were aged between 20 and 40 and did not have valid identification documents and work permits,” he told reporters yesterday.
Muhammad Suffi said the total value of the seizure was worth almost RM1.5 million including the cost of the catch, diesel, boat and fishing equipment.
He said the boat was seized by KM Nusa, a maritime ship that was in the midst of carrying out two patrol operations in the waters, namely Ops Perkasa Timur and Ops Marikh.
“The boat tried to escape, but it was captured after an hour-long chase by KM Nusa,” he said.
The boat was then taken to the maritime jetty here for further investigation under Section 15 (1) (a) 1985, for encroaching and fishing in Malaysian waters without a valid licence and authorisation from the director of Fisheries.
The fishermen and skipper were detained under Section 6 (1) (c) of the Immigration Act as they did not have valid identification documents and work permits.