MMEA detains 24 Vietnamese fishermen, two trawlers seized

Shahref shows the location where the two trawlers were intercepted.

KUCHING: Twenty-four Vietnamese were detained for illegal fishing by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) after their fish-laden trawlers were found operating in Malaysian waters.

District MMEA operations director Commander Shahref Steve Mcqueen Abdullah said the trawlers were intercepted 76 nautical miles west off Tanjung Sirik on Thursday and found laden with 120 tonnes of fish, which was only half the combined maximum capacity.

“Apart from using illegal nets to fish, both trawlers did not have permits to operate in Malaysian waters. This resulted in the seizure of the boats and the arrest of the two captains and 22 crew under the Fisheries Act 1985,” he told a press conference at the Tun Abang Salahuddin Maritime Complex in Muara Tebas yesterday.

Shahref added that the fish haul was worth around RM150,000, while the two seized trawlers were estimated to be worth RM5 million.

He also warned foreign fishermen that the MMEA is always on the lookout for those attempting to enter Malaysian waters to either fish illegally or conduct other illegal activities.

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