Urgent need for landing craft to strengthen enforcement: MMEA

14 Aug 2017 / 18:04 H.

KUCHING: There is an urgent need for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) to acquire a "landing craft" to strengthen enforcement operations following a drastic increase in the number of foreign fishermen boats in the country's waters, especially from Vietnam.
Sarawak Region Maritime director First Admiral Ismaili Bujang Pit said a more effective method was required to increase operational efficiency to curb the intrusion by foreign fishermen, who steal the country's marine wealth.
In the latest case last Thursday, MMEA from the Maritime District of Kuching detained two boats and arrested 22 crewmen including skippers from Vietnam, at about 185 nautical miles from Tanjung Po, at about 8.45pm.
He said the detained boats, valued at no less than RM5 million each, carrying around 10,000kg of catch took two days to be brought to the Tun Abang Salahuddin Maritime Complex (Komtas), limiting operations during the period.
Ismaili added the case took the total number of boats detained from Vietnam since the beginning of the year to 26, compared to only 12 last year, while the number of Vietnamese fishermen arrested from January to date was 316 people, compared to just 189 last year.
"This is the highest number of arrests made by MMEA in the 11 years it has operated here," he said in a press conference at the Komtas jetty here, today. — Bernama


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