Sunday, July 5

MMEA detains fishing boat, Indonesian crew for suspected illegal fishing

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MMEA spotted a boat suspected of carrying out illegal fishing some 3.7 nautical miles off Kuala Baram yesterday.

MIRI: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) here has detained a fishing boat and four Indonesians on suspicion on illegally fishing in Malaysian waters.

MMEA Miri commander Mohd Fauzi Othman said the foreign fishermen were detained some 3.7 nautical miles off Kuala Baram during an operation dubbed “Operasi Naga Timur” conducted by the enforcement agency yesterday.

“A check conducted found that the fishing boat was suspected to be breaching the Fisheries Act 1985,” he said in a press statement last night.

He added that the four Indonesian crew members aged between 24 and 39 were detained to assist in investigation.

Mohd Fauzi said MMEA personnel also seized about 500 kilogrammes (kg) of fish worth about RM100,000 during the operation.

Mohd Fauzi said MMEA received numerous complaints about foreign fisherman encroaching into Miri waters.

“More and more foreign fishermen are carrying out fishing activities near the shorelines which are for small boats.

“It is unfair to them (fishermen with small boats) as they only have fishing equipment suitable for fishing close to the shorelines,” he said.

He urged members of the public who want to lodge complaints or feedback to contact MMEA Miri operation centre at 085-418204.